Celebrate all things Bueller with Ferris Fest, other events

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“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” | PARAMOUNT

“He adored the Detroit Red Wings hockey team, in particular its Hall of Fame right wing Gordie Howe, which is why Ruck’s Cameron, a Chicago-area rich kid, incongruously wears a red Howe jersey throughout ‘Ferris Bueller.’ ”

That’s what Vanity Fair reported in a 2010 article following the sudden death of the film’s writer-director John Hughes at the age of 59 the year before. So now you know why the filmmaker outfitted Alan Ruck’s character in the non-Chicago Blackhawks jersey in such a quintessentially Chicago-centric film.

And in case you’ve not heard, this year marks the 30th anniversary of the iconic 1986 film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” Hughes’ ode to his adopted city, Chicago. To mark the occasion, special events are planned, as well as a special anniversary HD digital download of the film, which starred Matthew Broderick, Mia Sara, Alan Ruck, Jennifer Grey, Jeffrey Jones, Charlie Sheen and Ben Stein.

Here’s a look at ways to rekindle your friendship with Ferris, Sloane, Cameron, Joanie and principal Ed Rooney, and so many other unforgettable characters.

May 15 and 18: 650 movie theaters across the country, including many in the greater Chicago area, will be screening “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” presented by Fathom Events in conjunction with TCM’s “Big Screen Classic Series.”  Show times are 2 and 7 p.m. For a theater near you, visit fathomevents.com

May 20-22:At “Ferris Fest,” billed as “a 30th anniversary leisure weekend from Lake Forest to Chicago,” the highlights include:

• a screening of the film at the John and Nancy Hughes Theater (400 E. Illinois Road, Lake Forest, on May 21), immediately followed by a Q&A with Sun-Times movie columnist/host Richard Roeper and the film’s co-stars Cindy Pickett, Jonathan Schmock, Larry Jenkins and Lyman Ward.

• a live re-staging of the famous “Twist and Shout” parade float scene from the film (May 22; location TBA).

• a drive-by bus tour of the various Chicago area sites featured in the film, including Cameron’s house, “Shermer High School” (Glenbrook North High School in reality) and Wrigley Field, where the iconic sign will read “Save Ferris.”

• a tour of Ferris’ bedroom, recreated at Virgin Hotels Chicago, 203 N. Wabash

More events/tour information is available at www.eventbrite.com. Various single-day and multi-day ticket packages ($10-$300) are available here.

May 17:iTunes features an HD digital download of the film featuring behind-the-scenes special features.


May 19 (continuing throughout the summer): Visitors to Willis Tower’s Skydeck Chicago will have photo ops on the 103rd floor observation deck with a modern-day Ferrari California T (similar to Cameron’s 250 GT in the film).  In addition, patrons can partake of “Abe Froman, Sausage King of Chicago”-themed sausages and hot dogs, and as well as “Ferris” gift shop merchandise. Visit www.theskydeck.com for tickets/information.

June 17: Take in the Chicago Cubs game (just like Ferris and his pals did), 1:30 p.m. against the Pittsburg Pirates. Up to 5,000 early arriving Budweiser Bleacher ticketholders (21+over) will receive “Save Ferris” t-shirts; clips from the film will be shown on the ballpark’s video board.

June 21: Take a seat on your favorite blanket or lawn chair at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park for a free outdoor screening of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” on a 40-foot LED screen. The film kicks off the Summer Film Series at the venue. Start time is 6:30 p.m.

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