While they may be “long in tooth”, as the saying goes, Earth,Wind & Fire still have them dancing in the aisles. To start the July 4th holiday, Ravinia audiences were “bursting in air” to the sounds of a group that has been around for over 40 years. Three of the original members, Philip Bailey (who can still reach notes that most men fear to attempt to reach) ,a great percussionist, Verdine White on the bass, and Ralph Johnson who also does a great job with percussion and vocals, still take the lead and along with their Earth,Wind & Fire band make you feel that you have taken a trip into the past. What a night!
July 3rd, the night before the city of Highland Park and surrounding towns will hear fireworks galore, a sold out crowd , anticipating a different kind of fireworks, and they got even more than expected. These men brought us back to the glory days of their blend of “Rock N ‘ Roll, mixed with Jazz ,and young and old audience members have a night to remember. The stage was filled with musicians and with the electronics and great lighting effects, most of the audience was on its feet for close to 100 minutes ( no intermission) of solid entertainment. These songs may not have made it as big on the charts as others, but they were all big “in our hearts”, and the “soul” they bring to Ravinia makes the evening one to remember!
Ravinia is a great summertime experience for the entire family. I say experience because there are many ways that you can enjoy “your” own personal visit to this park near Lake Michigan. You can, of course , pack a dinner and bring it to the park along with tables, chairs and all the special items that one can see; candles, table cloths, coolers- all in all a dining experience that makes it special for you. You can also, just set up a blanket and enjoy what you bring, what you prepare or what you have catered. You can even rent tables and chairs. Of course, there is also THE dining experience at one of the establishments on premise. We opted to try the food at Mirabelle. Here we were seated and then well attended by our “server”, Seth. This dining spot is an all-you-can-eat buffet where the menu changes from concert to concert.
Appetizers and antipasto, a great assortment were flanked by different tables with different selections featuring fish ( tonight, tilapia) chicken and meat(tonight a skirt steak filled with olives, wonderful) and there was also a down home “country” table with Ranch sausage, Smoked baked beans and a great beet salad. There also is a desert table that varies, but has some brownies, pudding, cakes and fruit salad along with divine cheesecakes. This is a one price, all you can eat dinner which includes coffee or tea, and the servers make sure that you get all you need and clear your old platter as you fill a new one. Seth was aces when it came to making this experience one to remember.
Back to the concert whether you choose to sit on the lawn as a couple or with a group or in the pavilion, where you get to see all the action, heading to Ravinia is more than just a night of entertainment; it is an experience that you and your loved one ( or friends, or family) will recall for years to come. If you are luck enough to return in years to come and see the same acts as they return ( and many of them do ), you will have that special gift that only Ravinia can bring to the Chicago area. Take advantage of what is there for your enjoyment and your memories. Visit www.Ravinia.org and see what is coming up so you can plan your special entertainment memory.