Lonely Planet Writer

Iconic Chicago landmark will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off this summer

An iconic landmark in Chicago is helping fans follow in the footsteps of everyone’s favourite truant, Ferris Bueller, with a summer of themed events.

A still from the 1986 film Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
A still from the 1986 film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Image by Paramount Pictures

The Willis Tower – formerly and commonly known as the Sears Tower – was featured in the 1986 classic John Hughes-film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. In the movie, the titular character and his best friend and girlfriend skip school and spend the day roaming around Chicago and seeing some of the city’s most famous sights, and in one scene, the trio head up the Willis Tower to take in views of the city below.

Unidentified people on the skydeck in the Willis Tower on July 09, 2012 in Chicago. Willis Tower is a 108-story, 1,451-foot (442 m) skyscraper in Chicago, Illinois.
Unidentified people on the skydeck in the Willis Tower on July 09, 2012 in Chicago. Willis Tower is a 108-story, 1451-foot (442 m) skyscraper in Chicago, Illinois. Image by Julien Hautcoeur

Starting on 19 May, fans can head to the Skydeck – the highest observation deck in the US at 103 stories high – to get a picture in the same spot where the characters stood “with representations of Sloane and Cameron to feel like part of the gang”. In addition, a Chicago sausage cart, Hubby’s Dog House, will turn into the ‘Abe Froman, Sausage King of Chicago’ food cart and it will stop at the tower every other Friday starting on 20 May until 26 August. There will also be a Ferris look-alike contest on 24 June, where people can dress up with their best impression of a cast member to win prizes.

The tower is not the only place in Chicago that will be celebrating the beloved film – the city will be host to a whole Ferris Bueller festival from 20 to 22 May. The festival will include a film screening, a Q and A with some of the actors, a tour of the filming locations, and a live re-creation of the film’s famous parade scene.

But, if a trip to Chicago isn’t in your future, Turner Classic Movies announced that select theatres will be showing the film on the big screen on 15 and 18 May.