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Photograph by Cheri Eisenberg
The backdrop of this black-tie affair is what makes it one of the most talked-about events on the North Shore. The Chicago Botanic Garden’s Esplanade serves as the perfect location, functioning as a modern-day village green for the Garden. Daniel Kiley, who is considered one of the founding fathers of modern landscape architecture, designed the 2.8-acre garden as a public space. Overlooking the Smith Fountain, the geometric garden’s common area is a natural location for the event. “It’s an incredible opportunity to be in this spectacular setting,” says Stephanie Harris, one of the event co-chairs. “You get to be with your friends surrounded by this gorgeous backdrop. It’s a magical evening every year.”
This June will mark the seventh anniversary of the Summer Dinner Dance, and Stephanie’s mother-in-law, Caryn Harris, has been involved since its inception. Barbara Carr, the Garden’s former President and CEO, originally approached Caryn with the hopes of starting a tradition. “What I tried to do in the beginning was have a committee list that represented all ages from the city and North Shore,” she explains. “We want to educate people so they can see how fantastic the Garden is and start a tradition that everyone would look forward to.” Caryn has succeeded with an ever-growing amount of committee members and a diverse group of attendees.
On June 25, the event begins with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at 7 p.m., followed by an intimate dinner dance on the Esplanade. Proceeds will go to the Garden’s conservation, education, and research programs. Single tickets are $600, and tables range from $6,000 to $25,000. The Garden closes at 3 p.m. on this day.
For more information on the Summer Dinner Dance or to purchase tickets or a table, call 847-835-6944