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Naperville
Monday, April 22, 2024

Another attractive theme will see folks ‘Flying into Summer’ throughout downtown Naperville

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 Above / Downtown Naperville will feature benches shaped as dragonflies, magically transformed with colorful paints, wonderful wit and whimsical art to promote “Flying Into Summer” beginning in early June. Unlike summertime no-see-ums, the latest dragonfly-shaped seats welcome visitors to “Come-see-um!” and sit for a spell!

One of the tell-tale signs that summer is just around the corner is the announcement of the Downtown Naperville summer sculptures, complete with colorful wit and whimsy that inspire imaginations sponsored by local businesses.

“We have seen dinosaurs, sailboats, dogs, pickup trucks, and so many other fun and creative sculptures over the years,” noted Danielle Tufano, Executive Director of the Downtown Naperville Alliance.

Remember when this sailboat sculpture painted by artist Marianne Lisson Kuhn displayed seasonal themes on the sidewalks of downtown Naperville? (PN File Photo)

This year’s sculpture theme is Flying Into Summer. As a result, 19 uniquely creative dragonfly benches will be scattered throughout the downtown area, welcoming visitors to sit for moment in between shopping, dining and checking out all that’s new in the central business district.

Why dragonflies?

“We selected the dragonfly bench sculptures not only because they are fun and interactive, but also for symbolic reasons,” said Tufano. “Dragonflies symbolize change and adaptation, which is something that Downtown Naperville is currently experiencing with the City of Naperville’s multiyear Streetscape construction project.”

Tufano went to to say that the downtown project began in 2022 with work on Jefferson Avenue and Main Street and will continue in 2024 along Washington Street. These projects will focus on continued growth and improvements to enhance the pedestrian experience, improve compliance with accessibility requirements, reconstruct the roadways, and repair/replace utilities in the downtown area.

“They will also leave us with conveniently wider sidewalks, upgraded LED light fixtures, and a multitude of other pedestrian-friendly resources that downtown visitors will enjoy for many years to come,” Tufano added.

Again, local artist Marianne Lisson Kuhn will lend her signature style to two of the downtown Naperville attractions. Though none of the benches were available for photos in advance, Kuhn’s art has distinguished itself on local Century Walk murals as well as sculptures from the past throughout downtown Naperville.

Since the inception of the downtown sculpture exhibits, the fine art of Marianne Lisson Kuhn has been featured among local artists. Look for two of her designs on “dragonfly” benches, sure to display her love for community and its history. (PN File Photo)

With the exception of 2020, the Downtown Naperville Alliance has been coordinating the creation and installation of the sculptures to add fun and flair to the heart of the city since 2012.

Dragonfly benches will be on display from early June through mid-September. The installation date is tentatively scheduled for June 2, weather permitting.

Wander around downtown and enjoy the painted creations by a variety of artists.

Download a map to easily find all the sponsored sculptures on the Downtown Naperville Alliance website. The community is welcome to help select the favorite Summer Sculpture in July and August by casting votes on the DNA website.

Car Show with classic and vintage vehicles is June 17

In the spirit of summertime and dragonflies, vintage tractors will be on exhibit when the Car Show returns to downtown Naperville on June 17. (PN File Photo)

Gear up for Father’s Day Weekend in Downtown Naperville with plans to attend a free Car Show along Jackson Avenue from Eagle to Main streets from 9AM-12PM Sat., June 17. Discover a classic exhibit with up to 100 vehicles in all makes and models!

The return of this event is weather permitting.

The 2023 Downtown Naperville Car Show is sponsored by Gary Bronner, CFP with Country Financial.

In conjunction with the Downtown Naperville Car Show, the DNA also will host an “official launch” for the Summer Sculpture Program from 10AM-12PM. A table on the northwest corner of Jackson Avenue and Webster Street will welcome folks to pick up a 2023 Summer Sculpture map. In addition, spin the Downtown Naperville Prize Wheel for a chance at a variety of fun prizes and sign up for a drawing to win a Downtown Naperville gift card. 

Come shop, dine, explore, and Fly Into Summer in downtown Naperville!

One more thing… Space is limited, not all vehicle submissions may be accepted for the popular event. Email kerri@downtownnaperville.com to check any last-minute space availability as the official deadline to enter (May 18, 2023) has passed.

Downtown Naperville Alliance

The Downtown Naperville Alliance serves as a marketing and advocacy partner for Naperville’s downtown Central Business District, comprised of 300 businesses, including shops, restaurants, spas, and service businesses. Consider DNA gift cards a perfect way to say “thanks,’ “happy birthday” or “just because.”

For more information, visit downtownnaperville.com.

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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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