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Thursday, April 25, 2024

Naperville rocks from West Wind to Riverwalk to North Central College


Above / At least one family of Naperville residents puts the big rock in their front yard to good use to celebrate all-American holidays! Just like that, the Plymouth Rock to commemorate Thanksgiving was turned into Jingle Bell Rock for the holidays. (PN Photo, Dec. 16, 2022)

Thanks for community spirit from one holiday to the next

Whether a “SHAM” rock for St. Patrick’s Day in March, “‘Rock’-ets red glare” for Independence Day in July, “Plymouth Rock” for Thanksgiving or “Jingle Bell Rock” for the Christmas holidays, the big rock of ages in their front yard of folks who reside on Whispering Hills in West Wind presents a joyful message for passersby to appreciate.

Holiday seasons past have celebrated that popular song about Jingle Bells that Brenda Lee recorded back in 1964. (PN File Photo)

By day or by night for nearly every holiday, their neighbors are reminded how their neighbor’s rock with creativity.

For instance, every Thanksgiving folks are grateful for the tribute to the official holiday that dates back to Civil War days and President Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1863, 32 years after Naperville was founded in 1831.

The last Thursday in November also recognizes that the Mayflower Compact was a set of rules for self-governance established by the English settlers who traveled to the New World on the Mayflower in 1620. The Plymouth Colony began and a year later settlers gathered for the First Thanksgiving after their first harvest in the New World in the autumn of 1621. History reports the feast lasted three days and was attended by 90 Wampanoag Native American people and 53 Pilgrims.

Below a few of PN’s past photos reflect additions and alterations to the scene from year to year.

The medium is the message. Just plain “Plymouth Rock Est. 1620,” though the first settlers spelled it “Plimouth.” (PN Photo 2022)
Unlike other Thanksgivings, no sign of “G O B B L E” appears for 2022. (PN File Photo)
Leprechauns likely will return to add color to the St. Patrick’s Day celebration in March.

Rock along the Naperville Riverwalk

Find this rock along the Riverwalk between Eagle Street and the Riverwalk Cafe.

Along the Naperville Riverwalk, milestone markers on big rocks designate our City’s Centennial Anniversary in 1931 (above), and DuPage County’s Sesquicentennial in 1989 (below). Look for them along the winding brick path whenever visiting the community’s natural treasure in the heart of downtown Naperville.

By day or by evening, did you know Naperville was the first county seat in DuPage County back in 1839? Find the commemorative rock located near the bend of the DuPage River near the Jaycees Playground along the Riverwalk.

Keep walking and you just might meet up with a honking Canada goose near the Farmers Plaza along the Riverwalk.

Find the Cliff Preston tribute on a rock near the Riverwalk Quarry and the Farmers Plaza at the entrance to the Riverwalk from Eagle Street.

And then there’s Jaycees Park, now aglow for the holiday season with bright colored Rotary Sunrise NaperLights and the sounds of music leading to shopping and dining along Water Street and throughout downtown Naperville.

In Jaycees Park a big rock recognizes service to the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce and a collaborative idea for a “smart park.” Update, Dec. 6, 2022 / Nicki Anderson has been named to the Naperville City Council to fill the seat left vacant by Patty Gustin who was elected on Nov. 8, 2022, to serve on the DuPage County Board. Anderson will serve until May 2023.

A trek along the Riverwalk to the Jefferson Street Bridge, then a turn west along Jefferson Street will lead to the Naperville Fire Department Memorial, recognizing local firefighters for their service.

This Naperville Fire Department memorial rock honors the memory and service of Lieutenant R. F. Rechenmacher, Engineer J.I. Herring, Fireman B. R. Petrowski and Lieutenant G. S. Winckler. The Firefighter Memorial / Remembrance Service is slated for 8AM on Wed., Dec. 7, 2022.  After the observance, photographer Jim Hoch sent a link to his photos.

Rock on your radio dial with North Central College

Tune into the North Central College award-winning radio station, WONC, for some “Pure Rock” around the clock at 89.1 FM. Since 1968, WONC has been the College’s student-run broadcast station in the heart of Naperville. Today the station’s programming is described as “AOR.” AOR is “radio lingo” for album-oriented rock. Listen to find a balance between classic rock and new rock.

Rock with Cardinals & NCAA Division III Football, too…

And while considering rocking radio with North Central College, be ready to put on red Cardinal spirit wear this weekend. After its 50-0 victory in Game 1, North Central College Cardinals advance to Game 2 of the 2022 NCAA Division III Playoffs. The Cardinals are ranked #1 in the nation and the college hosted a second-round playoff game on Nov. 26, when the undefeated Cardinals again played at Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium, matching up in Game 2 against the Tartans from Carnegie Mellon University and winning 28-7. 

At the moment, the weather forecast for Saturday looks good!

UPDATE, 2:30PM, Sat., Nov. 26, 2022 / Good news! The Cardinals indeed rocked against the Tartans with a 28-7 victory. Next week, Dec. 3, the North Central College Cardinals again advance and will take on the Ithaca College Bombers in the quarterfinals.

 Want to watch from someplace else? Stream the game here.

ANOTHER UPDATE, Sat., Dec. 3 / Cardinals continue their winning season (13-0)! Semi-finals begin at 2:30PM Sat., Dec. 10, at home at Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium. North Central’s opponent in the semifinals will be the third-ranked University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas) Crusaders (12-1). Cheers to Coach Spencer and the football Cardinals!

North Central College welcomes spectators to fill the stands at Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium as was the case all during the regular 2022 football season. The Dec. 10 semi-final play-off game begins at 2:30PM. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students/seniors. Go, Cardinals! (PN Photo / 2022 Season)
The victory marked North Central College’s second national title and third consecutive appearance at the Stagg Bowl. Yes, the Cardinals rocked! (PN Photo)

AND ANOTHER UPDATE, Dec. 16, 2022 / NATIONAL CHAMPIONS: North Central College Cardinals Claim Stagg Bowl Victory!

After a record-setting year with first-year coach Brad Spencer, the North Central College football Cardinals clinch a perfect season (15-0) claiming the NCAA Division III national title over University of Mount Union, 28-21. The victory marked the program’s second national title and third consecutive appearance at the Stagg Bowl. This year’s battle took place at the Navy Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland.

PN is grateful for our city’s rich history and our readers! Cheers to good health. Happy holidays. Celebrate safely.

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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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