Illinois January 13, 2017
The Oldest Outdoor Music Festival In America Is Right Here In Illinois And It’s Amazing
Since 1904, Ravinia Park has attracted visitors to Highland Park with its sensational musical performances. Originally an attraction for travelers on the Chicago & Milwaukee Electric Railroad, the park had a casino, recreation areas, and more. Though it now focuses solely on concerts, this incredible venue continues to be a top local destination, popular among all ages of visitors.
In 1911, Highland Park locals purchased the land and founded The Ravinia Company.
The group was created to ensure that the attraction remained an upscale destination, not a cheap amusement park. Primarily classical music was performed, and Ravinia quickly rose to notoriety as the place to enjoy the opera in the summer.
The beautiful grounds and incredible performances attracted visitors from all over the state.
In this ad from a Ravinia program from 1952, it's clear that high-end brands wanted to capitalize on the park's popularity with affluent customers.
The Martin Theatre, formerly Ravinia Theatre, is the only original building still standing on the grounds.
It houses some of Ravinia's more intimate indoor performances by chamber choirs and soloists.
Many well-respected and famous musicians have performed there.
George Gershwin, Aaron Copland, and other great classical music luminaries have graced the stage.
Over the years, Ravinia has expanded the scope of its entertainment offering, including all types of music.
From Louis Armstrong to Kenny Rogers to Lady Gaga, there is something to excite any music lover.
The open-air venue is simply idyllic.
Audience members can feel the warm summer breeze during the amazing performances.
And, if you don't mind doing more listening than watching, grab a spot on the lawn.
The most cost-efficient way to enjoy Ravinia is with a ticket to sit on the lawn. The concerts are projected onto large screens so you can still get a view of the performance.
The best part about sitting on the lawn? The picnics.
Visitors truly go all out with beautiful picnics, complete with flowers and candles. For a lower maintenance experience, simply pack a blanket and a cooler.
This magical place can't be beat.
Take the time to visit this historic venue - you won't regret it.
Have you enjoyed a concert at this gorgeous park? Tell us about your Ravinia memories in the comments.