A high school student playing hooky is usually cause for condemnation, not celebration. However, that isn’t stopping the city of Chicago from throwing a big party this spring to honor the Midwest's most charming fictional troublemaker: Ferris Bueller. The three-day Ferris Fest—to be held in and around the Chicago area from May 20 to 22, according to WGN-TV—will mark the 30th anniversary of '80s film classic Ferris Bueller's Day Off, which was released in theaters on June 11, 1986.
Directed and written by John Hughes, the flick starred Matthew Broderick as the titular character, along with Mia Sara as Bueller's girlfriend, Sloane Peterson, and Alan Ruck as his best friend Cameron. The trio skips school and spends a day frolicking around downtown Chicago. They dine at a French restaurant, crash a parade, regale onlookers with a rendition of The Beatles’ “Twist and Shout," and visit a slew of landmarks, including the Sears Tower (now the Willis Tower), the Art Institute of Chicago, and Wrigley Field.
Keeping in the spirit of the movie, Ferris Fest will offer a live re-creation of the film's "Twist and Shout" parade sequence and a two-day, two-part bus tour of movie locations, including the Willis Tower, Glenbrook North High School (the suburban high school where exterior shots of Bueller’s fictional alma mater were filmed), and Cameron’s house in Highland Park, Illinois.
The event will also feature a special screening of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off at the John and Nancy Hughes Theater in Lake Forest, Illinois, on Saturday, May 21. Film critic Richard Roeper will host the event, which will include a Q&A with Ferris's parents, played by Cindy Pickett and Lyman Ward, and the French restaurant maitre d' Jonathan Schmock. Organizers say they’re trying to recruit even more actors and producers to join the event.
As the Chicago Tribune points out, Ferris Bueller's Day Off received a two-star review from Tribune movie critic Gene Siskel, who deemed it a “film that doesn’t seem to know what it’s about until the end.” However, no one can argue that the flick isn't a celebration of the Windy City from start to finish.
Full three-day festival tickets are $300, and include admission to the above tours and activities along with access to meet-and-greets, an opening night party, admission to a replica of Ferris Bueller's bedroom, and a T-shirt. One-day tickets for Saturday or Sunday are $175. For more information, visit the official Ferris Fest website.