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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Memories of Ted Fredenhagen and his Class Act II Concert series for the Riverwalk


Update, Nov. 23, 2022 / Celebrate the life of Walter S. Fredenhagen, better known as “Ted” around Naperville, (Feb. 28, 1925 – Nov. 16, 2022) upon his recent death at age 97. A visitation will be held from 1PM-3PM, Sat., Dec. 10, followed at 3PM by the funeral service at Mihm-Jones Funeral Home in Amboy, IL. Ted Fredenhagen’s obituary is linked here: https://www.thejonesfh.com/obituaries/Walter-Fredenhagen/#!/TributeWall

Cock Robin Naperville
PN always will have fond memories of Rita Harvard and Ted Fredenhagen as they planned Fredenhagen Park with Exchange Club Memories Fountain on the site of the old Cock Robin. The tribute to their parents, Grace and Walter Fredenhagen, was dedicated in May 2004. (PN File Photo, 2000)

Original Post, Sept. 12, 2012 / Ted Fredenhagen’s 19-piece big band, Class Act II, once again will play at his namesake park on Naperville’s Riverwalk beginning at 4:30PM Sat., Sept. 15, 2012. The two-hour concert is held in conjunction with the Riverwalk Art Fair.

Ted Fredenhagen leads his Class Act Big Band during a friend raiser in the park named to honor his parents. (PN File Photo)

In addition to the concert, this year the Prince Castle Monument marker will be placed as members of the Riverwalk Commission and Riverwalk Foundation  re-dedicate the site where the ice cream business used to stand.

Class Act II plays jazz standards, including tunes from Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Harry James and more, appealing to all ages.

Ted Fredenhagen sang to his sister, Rita Harvard. (PN File Photo)

The outdoor concert in Fredenhagen Park is free to the public and produced by the Riverwalk Foundation. Limited seating for this concert will be available, so patrons are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs. In the event of inclement weather, the concert will be canceled.

The Prince Castle and Cock Robin restaurants were originally located at the current site of Fredenhagen Park and owned by Ted Fredenhagen’s parents, Grace and Walter. After their passing, Fredenhagen and his sister, Rita Harvard, donated the land to the City of Naperville for use as a park on the east extension of the Riverwalk. This year’s concert will be dedicated to the memory of Harvard, who passed away in June.

The evening will also feature a re-dedication of the Prince Castle monument brick, which was once located in the sidewalk outside of the Cock Robin restaurant. The brick served as a reminder of the original Prince Castle restaurant, which opened in 1931 and was demolished in 1967 to make way for Cock Robin, a larger, more modern version of the ice cream shop that also sold hamburgers and French fries.

When Cock Robin was razed in 2000, it was thought that the brick was lost during the demolition process. However, long-time resident Jeff Williams recently came forward with the stone, which had been kept in its original state. Having grown up in Naperville and gone to Cock Robin as a youth, Williams is the proud owner of many Cock Robin artifacts.

In honor of the re-dedication, square dips of ice cream in cones – a Prince Castle and Cock Robin specialty – will be available to attendees.

North Central College representatives will also be present to invite concert goers to visit the newly finished gateway located between Fredenhagen Park and the college campus.

For more information on the Riverwalk, visit www.napervilleriverwalk.com.













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PN Editor
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