Everything is on track for the 47th annual Railroad Days Fest Thursday, July 12, through Sunday, July 15, 2018, at Pioneer Park, 479 West Forest Avenue. The fun event includes the carnival, entertainment, food and parade. Free shuttle bus service is available during hours of operation and a half hour after close time Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The shuttle bus runs in 15 minutes intervals. At the designated stops of Leman Middle School, 238 East Hazel Street, and West Chicago Community High School parking lots on Joliet Street (Entrance H) Ann Street and Wood Streets.
Beginning Thursday, the carnival provides rides with thrills and excitement for both adults and children. There also are games of chance and skill. Wristband specials for $25 are from 5:30 to 10:00 p.m. Thursday, from noon to 5:00 p.m. Saturday, and from 2:30 to 10:00 p.m. Sunday.
Vendors offer products, demonstrations and information. Local area businesses and organizations participating are Chiro One Wellness Centers, On Pointe Dance Academy, T-Mobile, Winfield Democratic Organization, Educare West DuPage, West Chicago Family Chiropractic, and Fermilab National Accelerator Laboratory.
The eight food vendors satisfy the appetites of hungry patrons with a variety of foods. Local food establishments participating are La India, Las Tias Restaurant and Los Comales. Other food vendors are Triangulo del Sol/Tropical Breeze, Food Express, Home Bakery and Fest Dumpling House, Ranch Mateo and Perk N’ Pickle. The beer tent provides a shaded area to eat, drink, rest and mingle with friends.
G Band provides the entertainment at 6:00 p.m. Thursday.
Opening the entertainment at 6:45 p.m. Friday is OMT, who play a variety of music from Rock to Indie to Country, from classic to current. Members of the band are founding member and multi talented drummer vocalist Bobby Carroll, local Naperville talent Dick Kuhn on guitar and vocals, Mike Aquino, nationally renowned guitarist who holds his music degree from Roosevelt College, world class guitarist Dave Benziger on guitar and vocals and professional bassist Jason Trtan, a graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Taking the stage at 8:15 p.m. is The Rack and the Riddler, who play 90s and 90s-ish Rock. Members of the band are Ross Graham, lead vocalist, acoustic guitar; Olivia Currey, backing and lead vocalist; Serafin Alvarado, bass; Mike Barranco, lead and rhythm guitar; Brad Sabathne, drums; and Dave Jaramito, rhythm and lead guitar.
Saturday there are three musical performances. Starting at 5:00 p.m. is Beggars Banquet, a Rolling Stones tribute band, who dress in authentic costumes. Members of the band are Paul Salecker, aka Mick Jagger, Alvis Salecker, George Gaine, Tom Pappas and Scott Tracey.
Taking the stage at 7:00 p.m. is Journeyman, tribute to Eric Clapton. Members of the band are Shawn Hague, guitar; Robert Monroe, keys, vocals; Darius Peterson, drums; and Laura Lopardo, backing vocals.
Shining Star, an Earth, Wind and Fire Tribute band, come on stage at 9:00 p.m. The band consists of lead guitar, two keyboardists, drums, three-piece horn section and vocal reproductions of Maurice White and Philip Bailey.
There are two bands on Sunday. Starting at 4:00 p.m. is Sammy and the Good Knights, a 60s and 70s cover band. Members are from the Knights of Columbus at St. John the Baptist Church in Winfield; former West Chicago resident Tony Reyes plays the drums.
Latin Groove performs at 6:00 p.m. This is a 9-piece family friendly, high energy, tropical music cover band that combines English and Spanish lyrics. To add plenty of variety, they also perform Cumbia, Latin Jazz, Cha-Cha-Cha and 70s covers with a Tropical music twist.
Sunday the crowd-pleasing parade steps off at 1:00 p.m. from Elmwood Street and Ingalton Avenue. It proceeds on Ingalton to East Washington Street, then north on Arbor Avenue to Reed-Keppler Park on National Street.
The theme is “One West Chicago, Many People, Many Cultures.” The three award categories for parade participants are Grand Marshal for the float that best depicts the theme of the parade, Turner Award for the business or organization that best depicts its services and the Heritage Award for the youth group showing its purpose, enthusiasm and spirit. The Grand marshals are Reggie Bass and Fernando Ramirez. They were selected because they not only are leaders in the community, they are inclusive leaders in the community. The Western DuPage Chamber of Commerce took nominations and their names were submitted multiple times. Bass is a member of People Made Visible and is a commissioner on the West Chicago Park District. Ramirez is the president of Mexican Cultural Center DuPage, initiating the Miss Mexican Heritage Scholarship Pageant. Both can be seen at many of the events in the community and volunteering wherever their services are needed
Musical entries are the Medinah Highlanders Pipes and Drums, the Hornets Drum & Bugle Corp, The Patriots and Little Patriots (West Suburban Home School Band), the West Chicago Community High School Band, under the direction of James Wallace and Mariachi Los Rayos de Leman Middle School under the direction of Janet Sikma.
Local organizations, clubs and businesses are West Chicago Fire Protection District, West Chicago Police Department/DuPage Sheriff’s Office, American Legion Post 300 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6791 Color Guard, West Chicago Police Department and WCFPD Color Guard, VFW Post 6791 Ladies Auxiliary, Thorium Action Group, West Chicago Lions Club, West Chicago Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs, West Chicago Wildcats Youth Football, First United Methodist Church of West Chicago, Knights of Columbus Council #1555, Leman Middle School Ballet Folklorico, West Chicago Sister Cities, Friends of West Chicago City Museum, WCPD Baseball and WCCHS Cheerleading.
Others are Girl Scout Troop 55593, Kinder Care Learning Center, West Chicago Youth Cheerleaders, West Chicago Youth Football and Republic Bank, Mexican Cultural Center of DuPage., WeGo Wildcats Special Olympics Club,We Grow Dreams Greenhouse & Garden Center, Midwest Strength & Power, Area DuPage Towing and On Pointe Dance Academy, just opened in July and having an Open House Saturday, July 28, 2018.
Also participating are Mayor Ruben Pineda and City Council members, West Chicago Park District, Commissioners, Wayne Township Road District, Wayne Township Republican Organization, Winfield Township Republicans and Winfield Township Democratic organization. Other political entries are Citizens for Karina Villa, Casten for Congress and Citizens for Tonia Khouri. As a side note, the entry of the1953 International Harvester Truck by Brachs Service Center in Winfield belonged to the late Ed Dierking, a lifelong resident of West Chicago and now owned by Tony Reyes.
As you enjoy the festival remember to thank the many individuals, businesses and organizations that make this event possible. The City sponsors and Western Dupage Chamber organizes Railroad Days
AROUND AND ABOUT
As part of its Art of Relaxation Series, the West Chicago Public Library District holds a Paint By Numbers Event at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 12, 2018, in the main meeting room. The District provides the Paint-by-Number kits, music and light refreshments. To make a reservation, call the adult services department at (630) 231-1552, extension 5.
West Chicago resident Kathy Steere is running the Adult Coloring Night, Troll Hunt Edition, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Thursday, July 12, 2018, at the Morton Arboretum, 4100 Route 53 in Lisle.
The We-Go Community Theater of the West Chicago Park District presents “The Wizard of Oz.” Performances are at 7:00 p.m. Thursday and Friday, July 12 and 13, and noon Saturday, July 14, 2018, in the Wheaton Academy Fine Arts Center, 900 Prince Crossing Road. The ticket price is $10 at the door.
On line registration for West Chicago Youth Cheerleader Organization ends Friday, July 13, 2018. The organization is for boys and girls in grades first through eighth. To register, visit https://www.leaguelineup.com/welcome.asp?url=wegoyouthcheer.
Glen Arbor Community Church, 204 Church Street, holds a Bible and Sports Camp from noon to 5:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 13 and 14, 2018. The free camp is geared for children ages 5 through 13. One team is for playing sports and the other team is for playing games and making crafts. There are team awards, individual awards and crafts awards. Also through the teen conference, the church has volunteers to assist with tasks in the yard, such as painting a fence and trimming bushes. To register for either of these, visit http://glenarborchurch.com or call (630) 293-5989. (www.merleburl.com)
The Class of 1978 of West Chicago Community High School holds it 40th reunion Friday, July 13 and Saturday, July 14, 2018. On Friday the attendees meet at Hawthorne’s Backyard & Grill, 1200 West Hawthorne Lane. The gathering place on Saturday is in a tent at Pioneer Park, 479 West Forest Avenue, the site of the annual Railroad Days celebration. For further information, visit the high school website, https://www.d94.org, under alumni, reunion information.
With Reverend Sue Ebersold on vacation, there are different guest speakers at the 9:30 a.m. worship services at St. Michael’s United Church of Christ, 400 West Washington Street. Kathy Hummel leads the worship and hymn sing Sunday, July 15.
Healthy West Chicago presents “Rethink Your Drink” at the Lawn Games from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, July 18, 2018, at the West Chicago Public Library, 118 West Washington Street. The games continue to 8:00 p.m. In case of rain, there are board games inside the library. (www.merleburl.com)
The Conqueroos is the entertainment at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, July 18, 2018, at The Shell in Reed-Keppler Park. The band blends old school blues with modern rock sound.
West Chicago City Museum Historiography program, a non-fiction book reading group, is at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, July 19, 2018, at the museum, 132 Main Street. Guests can bring a lunch; dessert and a beverage are provided. The movie to be discussed is the first hour and a half “WWI 100th Anniversary Collection.” A copy of the movie is at the Museum. Reservations are not required for this free program. For further information call the museum at (630) 231-3376 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In partnership with Cantigny Park, the League of Women Voters of Wheaton hosts a Civics Awareness program Thursday, July 19, 2018, in the McCormick House at Cantigny, 1S151 Winfield Road in Wheaton. Social time is at 6:30 p.m., followed by the program at 7:00 p.m. The topic is “Immigration—Untangling the Facts, History and Economics.” A question and answer session follows. Complimentary coffee and dessert are served. Tram service is available. Registration is required for the free program. To register visit www.wheatonlwvil.org. Parking is free.
Rob Paral of Paral and Associates, a consulting firm that helps philanthropic foundations, service organizations and government agencies understand the communities they serve through applied research methods, is the featured speaker. Prior to establishing this company in 1968, he was Research Director at the Latino Institute in Chicago and was the Senior Research Associate of the Washington, DC office of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed officials. He held research fellowships at the American Immigration Law Foundation, the Institute for Latinos Studies at Notre Dame University and Roosevelt University in Chicago. He was a visiting scholar at DePaul University. Patel currently is a NonResident Fellow in the Global Cities Program of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
League of Women Voters of Wheaton includes West Chicago, Warrenville, Winfield, Wheaton and Carol Stream. The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan organization that does not support or oppose any political party or candidate, but whose purpose is to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in government. (www.merleburl.com)
The West Chicago Community High School Class of 1973 holds its 45th Class reunion Friday, July 20 and Saturday, July 21, 2018. All classes are welcome to come. The event Friday is from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. at Hawthorne’s Backyard Bar & Grill, 1200 West Hawthorne Lane. The cost is $19.73; a cash bar is available. The event Saturday is from 5:00 p.m. to midnight at American Legion Post 300, 123 Main Street. The cost is $45; a cash bar is available. Payment can be made in several ways: Checks or money orders made out to Class of 73/Roxanne Hamlin, Cash sent to Roxanne Hamlin or Credit card at PayPal account: if you have a PayPal account, choose pay or send money, then choose to send to friends or family in the US (this will keep fees from being charged). Use email address email@example.com.
In the Kids Lunchtime Entertainment series at The Shell, Ken Shultz: The Flying Fool performance is at 11:00 a.m. Friday, July 20, 2018. The act consists of juggling, physical comedy humor and amazing stunts such as fire-eating, bowling ball juggling and balancing an eight-foot table on his chin. Persons bring their own lunch.
St. Andrew Lutheran Church, 155 North Prince Crossing Road, hosts a Bike-A-Thon Saturday, July 21, 2018. The six-mile ride is on the Prairie Path. Persons meet at 8:30 a.m. with the start time of 9:00 a.m. followed by a meal. Bikers must wear helmets. Donations support the ministry of St. Andrew. For further information, call the church office at (630) 231-3787.
Healthy West Chicago partners with Team Pineda for the Keep Moving Healthy West Chicago Community Walk at 9:00 a.m. Saturday, July 21. 2018 at Turner School, 750 Ingalton Avenue. It is a half hour walk.
First United Methodist Church of West Chicago, 643 East Washington Street, holds its Vacation Bible School from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, July 23 to Friday, July 27, 2018. It is for children in preschool through fifth grade. The theme is “Holy Kid Heroes.” Activities include music, crafts and snacks, plus making own Super Hero costume. There is no charge. To register, call the church office at (630) 231-3344 or visit firstumcucc.org.
With the extremely wet weather of June, Mosquitos are especially pesky this year. The first district-wide spraying in the West Chicago Mosquito Abatement District took place Tuesday, July 10, 2018. District residents are encouraged to report standing water areas that could develop larvae and excessive mosquito annoyance conditions to the district’s’ contractor Clarke Environmental Mosquito Management Inc. of St. Charles on the MOSQUITO HOTLINE, 800 942-2555. There will be a special spraying for Railroad Days at Pioneer Park.
Maggie Capettini, Education Director at the West Chicago City Museum, has an exhibit for the month of July in the cafe area at the Downers Grove Library, 1050 Curtiss Street. It features nearly 20 of her plein air and studio landscapes. (www.merleburl.com)
The new city-sponsored event, West Chicago Food Festival, takes place from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday, October 13, 2018, in the historic downtown area. Food is available from a variety of vendors and food trucks. Other activities include live music, entertainment and cooking demonstration. At this time, the City is seeking food vendors. Those participating have an opportunity to compete in a Tasting Competition. Vendor registration forms are available at westchicago.org, under Special Events.
West Chicago Public Library District added more West Chicago Community High School yearbooks to its digital collection. The years are 1921, 1923, 1924 and 1926, 1927 through 1932, and 2013 through 2017.
Perfect weather made it a very positive experience for the almost 200 people visiting the Digital Bookmobile Wednesday, June 13, 2018, at the West Chicago Public Library District. Margo Burkhardt Public Relations Specialist said, “All ages came and enjoyed learning how to download digital books.” Winning the drawing for the Kindle Fire was the Estala family.
The Bookmobile is equipped with interactive workstations, touch-screen activities, devices to sample titles and more. Through an interactive experience, visitors learned about and tried eBooks and audiobooks available in the West Chicago Library collection. (www.merleburl.com)
The Ninth Annual “Funds For Fun” golf outing, organized by the Friends of West Chicago Parks Foundation, had 67 participants and raised more than $5,000 to be used for scholarships to help low income families in the West Chicago Community enroll in recreational programs and activities they would not otherwise be able to afford.
Mariscos El Vallartazo, 1939 Franciscan Way, opened its doors Sunday, July 1, 2018. It is a seafood/BYOB restaurant.
The Women’s Christian Temperance Union fountain, located in downtown West Chicago, was one of the fountains featured in the July/August issue of “West Suburban Living” magazine.
At the Monday, July 2, 2018 meeting, City Council approved the ordinance to increase the sales tax by one-fourth percent, effective January 1, 2019. City Administrator Michael Guttman explained, “This is eight percent all inclusive.” This is the fourth in a series of municipal adjustments as a direct result of the State’s mismanagement and its subsequent siphoning of another $350,000 in income and personal property replacement taxes (total of over $500.000 over the last several years) using a very large budget gap for West Chicago and communities throughout the State.
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