A Chicago 'loop' with new twist

What does Chicago have in common with Monte Carlo? By next July 4, roads circling the city's Grant Park may be the scene of an International Grand Prix, Monitor correspondent Lucia Mouat reports.

It's all part of Mayor Jane Byrne's push to step up Chicago's festival and celebration schedule as a boost for the city's image as an international tourist and cultural center. Announcement of the auto race, the idea of a Chicago restaurant owner who now serves as chairman of the race organizing committee, was made in front of the Picasso statue on Daley Plaza amid a colorful display of sample racing cars. Stressing her hope that the $500,000 auto racing spectacular would become an annual revenue-producing event, Mayor Byrne said Chicago's Grand Prix will serve as a "platform to showcase our city to the world."

Other soon-to-be-announced additions to the city's increasingly packed event schedule -- which already includes a number of ethnic and seasonal festivals -- are a 10-day equine show for August 1981 and a fine arts festival for the spring of 1982. The city has also bid to serve as the site of the 1992 world's fair.

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