Bringing the Sounds of New Orleans to the Windy City

African American man dressed in a yellow suit with a brass band playing around him.

Continuing the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary celebration, the National Park Service and National Park Foundation are excited to bring the Park Exchange event series to Chicago, IL on Saturday, June 11, 2016!

Black and white image of jazz band walking down the streets of New Orleans

This time, the musical experience of New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park will be taking over the Windy City with the help of hip-hop recording artist, actor, and Chicago native Common and a New Orleans second line parade. The event will unify the two cities through the musical traditions and culture interpreted at the park. (NOTE: Common will not be performing during this celebration)

Not only does the Park Exchange series open your eyes to all of the unique experiences that national parks can offer, it encourages the next generation of park supporters to #FindYourPark, o mejor dicho, #EncuentraTuParque.

New Orleans jazz band on the street

The heart of a second line is its ability to unite communities and encourage them to join the festivities, offering a unique opportunity for the Southside neighborhood of Chicago to experience the culture interpreted at this New Orleans national park site.

The Chicago and New Orleans Jazz Historical Park Exchange is the second event in the series, which is designed to bring parks to life in urban areas and demonstrate the diversity of park experiences. 

In May 2016, the National Park Service and National Park Foundation brought the iconic redwood trees to the city of Austin, TX to juxtapose the nature of Redwood National and State Parks in California against the architecture of the iconic University of Texas Tower, which soars high at 307 feet above Austin, the average height of a redwood tree.

Tennis player Andy Roddick at Find Your Park event on University of Texas, Austin campus

In August, the Park Exchange event series will culminate in New York City, taking the innovation from Thomas Edison National Historical Park in a small New Jersey town, to the iconic big city skyline.

National parks go beyond the majestic landscapes of Yellowstone and Yosemite, they represent a feeling or a state of mind. You don’t have to travel very far to #FindYourPark and create your own adventure. With more than 400 national parks across the country – chances are there’s a national park in everyone’s backyard – even if you live in a big city!

Log onto to learn more about getting involved in the movement and share your individual connections to our nation’s natural landscapes, lively culture, and rich history.

Photo Credits: National Park Service; Andy Roddick by Rick Kern/Getty Images

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