Keyboardist Robert Lamm was inspired to write “Saturday In the Park” after visiting New York’s Central Park during a break from recording Chicago V. Lamm witnessed musicians, singers, dancers, jugglers and other performers, including an Italian ice cream vendor who was reciting Julius La Rosa’s “Eh, Cumpari!”.
In 1972, the resulting song became Chicago‘s highest-charting single to date, reaching the Top 5 on the charts and propelling the album to #1. The song’s refrain speaks of the “4th of July” ( although that date actually fell on a Sunday in 1971), an American holiday right in the heart of summer, and the upbeat and melodic feel of the music and melody provide the perfect vibe for the season.
“Saturday in the Park” has remained popular throughout the decades and has been widely used in films and commercials as well as being regularly played during Saturday afternoon baseball games (in Chicago and beyond). The song’s title has also been appropriated for the annual Saturday In the Park festival in Sioux City, Iowa.