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Saturday, September 30, 2023

2021 Labor Day Weekend in Naperville, Illnois


Update, Sept. 7, 2021 / Thanks, Jaycees, all volunteers and to Mother Nature for a mostly sunny 2021 Last Fling Weekend…

Naperville Jaycees, Jaycees Roosters and a multitude of volunteers put on a really good showcase of carnival fun and live music for the community. Thanks, Pete and Greg!

Here comes Last Fling! Gates open at 5PM Fri., Sept. 3.

If it’s Labor Day weekend, it’s time for the Jaycees Last Fling in Naperville! Gates open at 5PM Fri., Sept. 3. And the annual “end of summer” four-day family fun festival will close at 8PM Mon., Sept. 6. Be prepared for some street closures in downtown Naperville. Be safe. 

Now thru Sept. 6 / Parking Lot Closures / Beginning at 5AM Wed., Sept. 1, the Jaycees’ Last Fling will require the closing of parking lots and streets at and near the Alfred Rubin Riverwalk Community Center (at 305 W. Jackson Ave.) and the Park District Administration Building (320 W. Jackson Ave.) remain closed through Mon., Sept. 6.

Now thru Sept. 6 / City Traffic Control Plan for Labor Day Weekend / The City of Naperville has posted a traffic control plan with more details about street closures at this link: https://www.naperville.il.us/globalassets/media/event-maps-and-tcps/last-fling/2021-last-fling-traffic-control-plan.pdf.

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Sidewalk sails come in many whimsical designs as they dot the downtown Naperville landscape for summer 2021.

Until September 21, it’s still summer! Summer “Sidewalk Sales” continue inside the cool businesses in Downtown Naperville / Experience a new twist in the mix of shopping and dining along Jefferson Avenue between Main and Washington streets. Celebrating 62 years, Dean’s Fine Clothing offers its popular sales racks every day to make room for new arrivals for fall and winter. (Watch for special sales at every shop as summer sale days continue to make way for fall and winter merchandise!)

Proceeds from sale of RED shirts benefit the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument planned for Veterans Park. The groundbreaking is at 2PM Sun., Sept. 26.

Sept. 3 / It’s another R.E.D. Shirt Friday at Quigley’s Irish Pub! Remember Everyone Deployed with a cold beverage at lunch or dinner every Friday. (And look for the R.E.D. Shirt Booth hosted by the American Legion Riders during Last Fling. Find the Riders in the merchandise tent near the Jackson Avenue Stage, Friday night, until 5PM Saturday and 5PM Sunday, and possibly Monday afternoon. Funds raised from shirt sales will benefit the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument in Veterans Park. The groundbreaking ceremony is set for 2PM Sun., Sept. 26. Everybody’s welcome!) Quigley’s Irish Pub is located at 43 E. Jefferson Ave. in downtown Naperville. It’s ON here & there! (One more thing…WSI Quiz Night returns to Quigley’s at 7PM Tues., Sept. 7. Wear RED shirts and think green.)

Frank E. Fling wants to catch up with you Labor Day Weekend. Cheers!

Sept. 3-6 / Last Fling, Naperville Jaycees (Celebrating 56 Years,Sept. 3-6, 2021) It’s ON! Admission is FREE to the Carnival on Jackson Avenue all Labor Day Weekend.

Last Fling Hours: 5-11PM Fri.; 10AM to 11PM Sat. and Sun.; and 10AM to 8PM Mon., Labor Day.  Click here for FAQ.

Tickets to ride are $1.25 each. All rides range from 2 to 6 tickets per person, and tickets can be purchased at Carnival Ticket Booths on Jackson Avenue. Take advantage of Carnival Deal Days all weekend with unlimited rides during carnival hours for $30 per person, per day. 

Sept. 3-6 / Let there be live music all during Last Fling at the Jackson Avenue Stage.

Labor Day last swim!

Sept. 4, 5 & 6 – Weekends at Centennial Beach / Centennial Beach weekend hours through Labor Day are posted here. Located at 300 W. Jackson Street in downtown Naperville, Centennial Beach features a sandy beach, zero depth entry, water features and a slide at the shallow end and piers, diving boards and deep water swimming at the deep end. It’s ON through Labor Day!

During Last Fling, the Riverwalk Amphitheater will be decked out with family-friendly activities in a new “Family Fun Zone.” The venue is located near Eagle Street along Jackson Avenue. 

Sept 4-6 / Family Fun Zone at Riverwalk Amphitheater / A visit and photos with a real-life Princess, cotton candy /cupcake /spaghetti eating contests, a reptile and amphibian experience, a special needs water balloon toss and freeze dance, Irish dancing, stilt walking, a bake-off competition, juggling, balloon animal making and much more.

Extra! Extra! Results of Saturday morning’s Cotton Candy Eating Contest were sticky. Next up at 3PM Sept. 4 is the Cupcake Eating Contest, followed at 2PM Sun., Sept. 5, by the Spaghetti Eating Contest.

All Weekend! To see a full list of the Family Attractions at the 2021 Naperville Last Fling, visit www.LastFling.org/FamilyAttractions or for complete details, visit www.LastFling.org/Carnival.

More than a few times, OMT has taken the stage to entertain at Last Fling.

Sept. 4 / OMT 12 PM (Noon) Sat., Sept 4, at the 2021 Naperville Last Fling! For info about One More Time and the upcoming concert schedule of these hometown musicians, visit www.onemtime.com. Last Fling Concert is free on stage at 100 W. Jackson Ave. It’s ON!

Frisbie dog championships return to Nike Park Sept. 4-5! Nike Park is just south of Diehl Road along Mill Street on Naperville’s north side.

Sept. 4-5 / Ashley Whippet K-9 Frisbie World Championships / Labor Day Weekend at Nike Sports Complex / (9:30AM to 4:30PM Sept. 4-5, 2021.) It’s ON! 

And here’s a note about Nike Sports Complex, NOT to be confused with Nike Sports. Longtime residents Jon Ripsky and Tom Kuhn grew up on Naperville’s northside. They have enlightening stories that the sports complex located at 288 W. Diehl Road was named back in the mid-1950s for one of the area’s U.S. Army Nike missile sites, not the iconic sportswear company. Now you know.

Admission is free to Last Fling. Rides along the Midway come with a price. Enjoy all the rides at the Carnival. Will Captain Ahab be taking tickets?

Sept. 5 / Special Needs Day. Special Needs Day at the Carnival is from 10AM to 12PM Sun., Sept. 5. Patrons with special needs will get exclusive, priority, no-wait seating with a special wristband. All participants must have a chaperone and wristbands are for special needs guests only. Please stop by the carnival ticket booth to pick up a wristband starting at 9:30AM.

Sept. 6 / Naperville Jaycees Labor Day Parade (10AM Mon., Sept. 6, 2021) Join The City of Naperville and the Naperville Jaycees in celebration of “Our Frontline Workers” with Edward Hospital Frontline Workers as the Grand Marshal of the 2021 Labor Day Parade. Experience the spectacular display of community spirit with marching bands from NNHS to NCHS. It’s ON!

Jaycees Bucket Shakers come in all ages of Roosters. (Really Old PN File Photo!)

Sept. 6 / Let there be music & jingling coins in buckets! Naperville loves a parade, its music and its timely bucket shakers for charity! The Frank E. Fling mascot thanks all marching bands from local middle and high schools to the Naperville Municipal Band for mustering up the rousing music that prompts cheers from spectators throughout the parade season! It’s ON!

For a little Riverwalk history, start at the first Riverwalk Covered Bridge, donated by the Moser brothers, Harold and Jim. Find the first of three covered bridges located near the Dandelion Fountain, Jackson at Webster streets, as it crosses over the DuPage River to lots of shopping and dining opportunities in downtown Naperville.

Sept. 6 / Riverwalk Rededication with group sing! “Happy 40th Birthday, dear Riverwalk!” 2PM sharp, Mon., Sept. 6. Gather with friends of the Riverwalk for a brief moment of cheers to celebrate the first 40 years of this city’s natural treasure. Look for the event to take place east of the Civic Plaza Covered Bridge and Dandelion Fountain at Webster Street and west of the Main Street Parking Lot. It’s ON!

Look for the granite monument stone with bronze-enhanced tributes to many generous donors in support of the Riverwalk back in 1981. Phase One of the project that restored more than 30 plaques and bench markers from Main Street to Rotary Hill is funded by the Naperville Riverwalk Foundation.

Sept. 6 / I scream for ice cream and happy 40th birthday to the Riverwalk! On Labor Day, stop by Pinot’s Palette Booth from 2-4PM along Jackson Avenue during Last Fling for gift certificates for Ice Cream and/or Cake from participating downtown merchants including Kilwin’s, Naper Nuts & Sweets, Molly’s Cupcakes and Cookie Dough Creations. The DNA Gift Certificates, while supply lasts, (One certificate per person present upon request / Individual members of the same family will be given certificates to the same merchant.) are good Labor Day through Wed., Sept. 8. Thanks, Pinot’s Palette and DNA! (Note, Pinot’s Palette will host its booth during the 4-day Last Fling.) It’s ON!

Labor Day 2021 through Labor Day 2031 / Looking toward 2031 & Naperville’s Bicentennial & the 50th Anniversary of the Naperville Riverwalk / Riverwalk Master Plan

Check back later. Other Naperville events may be added. And some events indicated currently as “It’s ON!” may be changed or canceled. Thanks for reading!

A few more notes about Naperville Municipal Band…

She rocked in the tree tops all evening long to upbeat sounds of the Naperville Municipal Band. 

September Performances / Thanks to the large audiences that filled Central Park with enthusiastic applause and appreciation during the 11-week Naperville Municipal Band summer concert series, sponsored by the City’s SECA Fund. Thanks to all for the wonderful memories created on stage and throughout the park with friends, family and neighbors.

Up next, the Naperville Municipal Band will march in the Labor Day Parade when it steps off at 10AM Mon., Sept. 6. It’s ON!

Then the City’s band will perform at 8:15AM Sat., Sept.11, prior to the Naperville Sept. 11 Observance at the Cmdr. Dan Shanower Sept. 11 Memorial along the Riverwalk. The Naperville Municipal Band will play at the Riverwalk Amphitheater across the DuPage River from the Memorial. The City’s observance will begin at 8:46AM. The public is welcome. It’s ON!

The Naperville Municipal Band also will bring upbeat joyful rhythm from South of the Border during an evening performance at the inaugural Naperville Hispanic Heritage Fest on Sat., Sept. 18, in Central Park. Join all the festivities to celebrate Mexican Independence Day from 11AM to 9PM presented by the Sister Cities Foundation. The public is welcome. Admission is free of charge.  For more info, visit www.napervillehispanicfest.com. It’s ON!

To help pay tribute to Gold Star Families, the Naperville Municipal Band will perform during the ground-breaking ceremony for the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument beginning with a prelude at 1:45PM Sun., Sept. 26. Hosted by the Woody Williams Foundation and Century Walk, the 30-minute ceremony begins at 2PM at Veterans Park at 301 E. Gartner Road. The public is welcome. It’s ON!

Editor’s Note / Thanks to all community volunteers and sponsors, including the Naperville Park District, that helped make 2021 Jaycees Last Fling happen. Be safe. This post will be updated through Labor Day!

Positively Naperville in print is available at more than 25 local businesses. A calendar featuring a list of September briefs will be posted online soon. Meanwhile give thought to showing appreciation to all who work to make this community a good place to call home.

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PN Editor
PN Editor
An editor is someone who prepares content for publishing. It entered English, the American Language, via French. Its modern sense for newspapers has been around since about 1800.


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