Naperville Festivals, Traditions & Special Events for 2018

Above / The Naperville Riverwalk provides the natural setting for many annual charity walks, concerts and other special events throughout the year.

Above / Summertime! / The Naperville Municipal Band Summer Concert Season, 7:30PM on Thursdays in Central Park, returns June 7 through Aug. 16, 2018. Stay tuned! And thanks for supporting the arts!

Then look for the Naperville Municipal Band and many local high school and middle school marching bands in the 2018 Last Fling Labor Day Parade in downtown Naperville on Mon., Sept. 3.

Mostly, however, have a meaningful, safe and fun summer. Peace.

Welcome! Celebrate safely.

Longstanding events posted here are open to the public, providing plenty of happenings featuring local culture and community spirit in Naperville.

Events featured here are repeats. First-time events have yet to become traditions. Inaugural events may be submitted to PN’s calendar via click here.  (Note, your submitted entry will go through an editing process. It will not appear immediately.) Thanks for sharing this service that also extends to other local media outlets.

Please note that some special event organizers send printed invitations with “save the date” messages as reminders to their acquired mailing lists. Invitations to community fundraisers listed here are not intended to be exclusive. Everyone is welcome. It’s likely once you attend, you will receive invitations in the mail.

The events listed here, many free*** of admission charge, invite all individuals to catch the spirit whether by personal invitation or not.

Some exact dates for 2018 have yet to be determined, but places have been held as reminders.

Students often participate in parades and other local traditions; however, school concerts and performances are not listed here. Thanks for supporting the arts in our schools.

PN’s perpetual calendar beginning November 2018…

Local events not featured on the perpetual calendar likely are featured on PN’s other event calendars by category. Click “Events” on PN’s Navigation Bar at the top of this page for a drop down of other calendar choices. 

Be sure to take time to watch the trees change color. May Watts Park has been exceptionally brilliant and beautiful this autumn.

November

West Suburban Irish Quiz Nights at Quigley’s Irish Pub (First Tuesday of most months)

Cheers to Our Veterans! hosted by NRFOV (Nov. 1, 2018) Details to come.

360 Youth Services Annual Gala (Nov. 2, 2018) Details to come.

Cress Creek Garden Club Annual Make It Bake It

Veterans Day at Veterans Park, etc. (Nov. 11  aka “11-11-11”) ***

Naperville Municipal Band Fall Concert (Nov. 11, 2018) *** Details to come.

Quigley’s Irish Pub Birthday Nov. 17, 1998 Celebrate first 20 years! (Sat., Nov. 17, 2018)

Lions Club 5K Turkey Trot (Thurs., Nov. 22, 2018)

Complimentary Thanksgiving Dinner at Meson Sabika (Thurs., Nov. 22, 2018) ***

Rotary Club of Naperville Sunrise Naper Lights (Thanksgiving & Weekends through the Holidays) at Naper Settlement

Grand Illumination

Little Friends Parade of Lights (Moved from Thanksgiving weekend to Dec.)

PN’s Online Calendar of Upcoming Events 


December

Mayor’s Community Breakfast hosted by the YMCA at Fry Family Y (6:30AM First Friday in December)

Cup of Cheer House Walk Hosted by Naperville Garden Club (First Friday)

Little Friends Parade of Lights in downtown Naperville (7PM Sat., Dec. 1, 2018) *** Note Saturday!

Riverwalk Santa House, Webster at Jackson ***

West Suburban Irish Quiz Nights at Quigley’s Irish Pub (First Tuesday of most months)

Pictures with Santa & the Leprechaun at Quigley’s Irish Pub (Dec. 2018) *** Details to come.

Above / Santa enjoys a hug during Pictures with Santa and the Leprechaun at Quigley’s Irish Pub.

Anyone at a loss for what to put on a Christmas list, consider, “Something you want. Something you need. Something to wear. Something to read.”

Naperville Municipal Band hosts Tuba Christmas in front of US Bank (Usually 11AM First Saturday) *** Note! For 2018, the Naperville Municipal Band will be performing a free one-hour concert at 12:45PM Sun., Dec. 2, for a Bicentennial Birthday Bash at Wentz Concert Hall.

Rotary Club of Naperville Sunrise Naper Lights (Thanksgiving & Weekends through Holidays) at Naper Settlement ***

Grow Your Heart 3 Sizes with the Grinch & IndieBound Naperville (Throughout Dec.) ***

Spread good cheer with holiday music!

Annual visit to Hines VA Hospital to spread good cheer with a Holiday Sing-along, departing from Judd Kendall VFW (6PM Tues., Dec. 11, 2018) ***

2nd Annual Breakfast with Santa at Catch 35 in downtown Naperville (Dec. 16 & Dec. 22, 2018)   www.catch35.com/santas-breakfast-2017-catch-35.

Naperville Municipal Band Holiday Concert (Dec. 2018) *** Details to come.

Hometown Holidays Shopping, Shopping, Shopping

Last-Minute Madness in Downtown Naperville

North Central College Arts Calendar

December 31, 2018 Wrap Up!

BUBBLE BASH AT DuPage Children’s Museum (Dec. 31, 2018)

Celebrate New Year’s Eve Dublin Time at Quigley’s Irish Pub. Countdown at 6PM (3-8PM Dec. 31, 2018)

Ring out the old and ring in the New Year / Millennium Carillon Countdown (Dec. 31, 2018)

A few local suggestions from 2017 for New Year’s Eve 2018 


Additional Calendar Listings on this Website

PN’s Online Calendar of Upcoming Events 

Click here for calendar of 2018 Runs, Walk, Bike Rides & A Duck Race

Click here for 2018 Charity Golf Outings

Click “Events” on PN’s Navigation Bar at the top of this page for a drop down of other calendar choices.

(We regret any dead links on this page. We welcome event planners to help us keep them live.)

Positively Naperville, online since July 2001 and in print since September 2001. Thanks for reading!

Check out Latest News! Printed Monthly / Digital Daily.


January

Happy New Year, Naperville! Bundle up for winter and have a ball!

Enjoy a year of local traditions & more.

Positively Naperville goes to press second week in January to avoid being thrown out with the holiday wrapping paper. (Jan. 8, 2018) 

West Suburban Irish Quiz Nights at Quigley’s Irish Pub (First Tuesday of most months)

Wedding Showcase at Naper Settlement (10AM-3PM Sat., Jan. 6, 2018) ***

MLK Week of Tributes at North Central College (7PM Mon., Jan. 15, 2018)

Monthly Dinner/Social hosted by American Legion Post 43 (Jan. 20, 2018)

PN’s Online Calendar of Upcoming Events 

February

Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Inaugural Gala (Feb., 2018)

West Suburban Irish Quiz Nights at Quigley’s Irish Pub (First Tuesday of most months)

360 Youth Services Chocolate Walk, new kind of Chocolate Festival (Feb. 10, 2018)

Annual International Festival at Merner Fieldhouse  (12-4PM Sun., Feb. 11, 2018)

North Central College Arts Calendar

Monthly Dinner/Social hosted by American Legion Post 43 (Feb. 16, 2018)

Naperville Municipal Band Winter Concert (Feb. 18, 2018) ***

Jaycees Mardi Gras  (Feb. or March) **Must be 21 (Not happening in 2017)

Naperville Winter Ale Fest in Frontier Park **Must be 21 (Feb. 24, 2018)

West Suburban Irish Emerald Dinner (Feb. 24, 2018)

YUKS for Youth

Friday Night Fish Fry at Judd Kendall VFW (4:30PM every Friday during Lent)

PN’s Online Calendar of Upcoming Events 

Above / The first parade of the year in downtown Naperville is the St. Patrick’s Parade beginning at 10AM on the Saturday in March before St. Patrick’s Day. Hosted by the West Suburban Irish, the sounds of bag pipers and the steps of the McNulty Irish Dancers entertain spectators. Collectible scarves with an Irish theme also will be sold along the parade route for $5 each. In 2018, celebrate St. Patrick on March 10, then again with Michael Finnegan on March 17. Think green and sunshine! Sláinte.

March

Little Friends’ Bids for Kids (March 3, 2018)

West Suburban Irish Quiz Nights at Quigley’s Irish Pub (7PM First Tuesday of most months)

St. Baldrick’s  (Various local events / Search “Naperville.”)

Rotary/Sunrise St. Paddy’s Day 5K (March 10, 2018)

WSI St. Patrick’s Day Parade (March 10, 2018)

North Central College Arts Calendar

Kiwanis Pancake Festival  (March 17, 2018)

Monthly Dinner/Social hosted by American Legion Post 43 (March 17, 2018)

Vote! General Primary Election (March 20, 2018, followed by General Election on Nov. 6)

KidsMatter Student Job Fair (March 20, 2018) 

Jaycees Easter Egg Hunt  (March or April / Saturday before Easter… March 31, 2018)

April

National Autism Awareness Month! Look for blue lights! (Special Open Houses/Fundraisers for 2018)

West Suburban Irish Quiz Nights at Quigley’s Irish Pub (7PM First Tuesday of most months)

Vote! Consolidated Election (Every other odd year)

Naperville Big Band Jazz Fest (April 2018) Details to come.

Ignite the Nite  / Benefit for KidsMatter (April 2018) Details to come.

Strength & Honor Luncheon hosted by Naperville Responds for Veterans (April 2018) Details to come.

Jaycees Easter Egg Hunt  (See March 2018) ***

American Legion Post 43 Annual Past Commanders & Citizens of the Year Dinner (April 14, 2018)

DuPage Children’s Museum Annual Benefit Ball  (Moved to June 17, 2017) Details to come.

Spring Spruce Up! (Note opportunities to spruce up local parks for warmer seasons)

Jaycees DSA Recognition (And More!) (April 2018) Details to come.

Naperville Municipal Band Spring Concert at Wentz Concert Hall (April 22, 2018) ***

May

A.D.O.P.T. Walk (7:30AM on First Sunday Morning in May)

West Suburban Irish Quiz Nights at Quigley’s Irish Pub (7PM First Tuesday of most months)

Honor Flight Fundraiser & Luncheon at Calamos Hangar / DuPage Airport  (First Saturday, May 5, 2018)

Kentucky Derby Gala /Benefit for Hesed House (3-7PM First Saturday, May 5, 2018)

Jaycees Lobster Day (And More! Held on the Saturday before Mother’s Day) (May 12, 2018)

Annual Kathryn Bender Dance Showcase at NNHS (Saturday May 13, 2017) Details to come.

Civil War Days at Naper Settlement (May 19 & 20, 2018)

AAUW Awards Brunch & Annual Meeting

Families Helping Families Family Fun Walk

Memorial Day Parade (Register entries by May 1) & Observance (Mon., May 28, 2018) ***

Memorial Day Observance with Patriotic Music & Tributes in Central Park (12:15PM Mon., May 28, 2018) ***

Charity Golf Outing Season begins in May with the St. Patrick’s Residence Golf Outing, a habit-forming start to a bunch of events that run through October.

The complete listing of local golf events posted May 1, 2018.

PN’s Online Calendar of Upcoming Events 


June

West Suburban Irish Quiz Nights at Quigley’s Irish Pub (First Tuesday of most months)

Leadership Rooted in JKB Annual Tapas, Sangria & Spanish Wine Tasting at Meson Sabika (5:30PM June 2018)

Fair Lady Productions, Inc. Annual Fair Lady Award Banquet (6PM Thurs., June 7, 2018), at Center Stage Theater, located at 1665 Quincy Ave.

Glow Run 5K nicaricoliteracyfund.org at twilight  Jeanine Nicarico Memorial Literacy Fund (Formerly Run for Reading) (June 2, 2018)

Annual AAUW Naperville Area Used Book Sale

DuPage Children’s Museum Benefit Ball / (June 2018) Details to come.

North Central College Graduation & Arts Calendar

Classic Car Show & Kick Off of Sculpture Exhibit in Downtown Naperville / (Sat., June 16, 2018) Father’s Day Weekend ***

Naperville Municipal Band Summer Concert Series Thursday evenings 7:30PM in Central Park FREE!

(Note! Celebrate NMB Director Ron Keller’s first 54 Years! Celebrate Independence and the 1812 Overture with cannons in conjunction with the 2018 Independence Day Concert on June 28!)

Naper Nights at Naper Settlement (June 15 & June 16, 2018)

Naperville Woman’s Club Annual Fine Art Fair (Free Admission / Alert! June 23-24  for 2018) ***

Exchange Club of Naperville Ribfest (Sometimes begins at end of  June, but July 4-7, 2018)


July

Spectacular Fireworks at dusk Independence Day (4th of July) near Knoch Park, etc.

Exchange Club of Naperville RIBFEST! (31st Ribfest! July 4-July 7, 2018)

Find Waldo? Tour de Independents hosted by IndieBound Naperville (Throughout July) ***

Naperville Municipal Band Summer Concert Series Thursday evenings 7:30PM in Central Park FREE! ***

Summer Sidewalk Sales Downtown Naperville (July 2018) Details to come.

Summer Sidewalk Sales at Naperville Plaza

Naperville Woman’s Club Annual Fine Art Fair (Free Admission / Moved to June in 2017) ***

Naperville Ale Fest at Naper Settlement **Must be 21 (Sat., July 2018) Details to come.

Rockin’ for the Troops (July 2018 New Location!) Details to come.

Naper Nights at Naper Settlement (July 20 & July 21, 2018)

Y Movie Under the Stars in Central Park, 104 E. Benton / Details to come. ***

PN’s Online Calendar of Upcoming Events 


August

West Suburban Irish Quiz Nights at Quigley’s Irish Pub (First Tuesday of most months, but not Sept.)

Annual National Night Out throughout Naperville subdivisions (First Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018) ***

Naperville Municipal Band Summer Concert Series Thursday Evenings 7:30PM in Central Park FREE! ***  Summer tradition ends for this season on Aug. 9, 2018. Thanks for the memories! The final concert on Aug. 16 features the NMB Big Band.

Naperville Rotary Ride Family Bike Ride from Commissioner’s Park (Start times 6:30AM-10AM, Sun., Aug. 12, 2018, Closes 2PM)

India Day Parade & Celebration in Knoch Park (Day-long celebration begins at 11AM-9:30PM, Aug. 12, 2018) ***

Riverwalk Duck Race offers $1981 First Prize (10AM Wed., Aug. 15, 2018)

Naper Nights at Naper Settlement (Aug. 17 and Aug. 18, 2018)

Naperville Wine Festival returns to Naper Settlement Details to come.

Loaves & Fishes Night to End Hunger  (6PM Sat., August 25, 2018) 

Last Fling, Naperville Jaycees (Sometimes begins late August such as 2018) Last Fling, Naperville Jaycees (Celebrating 53 Years, Aug. 31-Sept. 3, 2018) 

 

August

West Suburban Irish Quiz Nights at Quigley’s Irish Pub (First Tuesday of most months, but not Sept.)

Annual National Night Out throughout Naperville subdivisions (First Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018) ***

Naperville Municipal Band Summer Concert Series Thursday Evenings 7:30PM in Central Park FREE! ***  Summer tradition ends for this season on Aug. 9, 2018. Thanks for the memories! The final concert on Aug. 16 features the NMB Big Band.

Naperville Rotary Ride Family Bike Ride from Commissioner’s Park (Start times 6:30AM-10AM, Sun., Aug. 12, 2018, Closes 2PM)

India Day Parade & Celebration in Knoch Park (Day-long celebration begins at 11AM-9:30PM, Aug. 12, 2018) ***

Riverwalk Duck Race offers $1981 First Prize (10AM Wed., Aug. 15, 2018)

Naper Nights at Naper Settlement (Aug. 17 and Aug. 18, 2018)

Naperville Wine Festival returns to Naper Settlement Details to come.

Loaves & Fishes Night to End Hunger  (6PM Sat., August 25, 2018) 

Last Fling, Naperville Jaycees (Sometimes begins late August such as 2018) Last Fling, Naperville Jaycees (Celebrating 53 Years, Aug. 31-Sept. 3, 2018) 

September

North Central College Arts Calendar

Last Fling, Naperville Jaycees (Celebrating 53 Years in 2018! Aug. 31-Sept. 3, 2018)

Naperville Jaycees Labor Day Parade (Sept. 3, 2018) ***

 

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! 

(Now scroll down or up this page and catch up on many of the traditional events that showcase this community’s can-do spirit while Frank E. Fling rests up for the Little Friends Parade of Lights, the final parade of the year.)

September 11 Observance / Cmdr. Dan Shanower/Sept. 11 Memorial along the Riverwalk *** (6PM)

Mayor’s Charity Fall Into Giving (Replaces Golf Outing) / 5:30PM Thurs., Sept. 13, 2018 / Noah’s Events / $150 per person / Please make checks payable to Rosanova & Whitaker, C/O Kristen 30 W. Jefferson, Suite 200, Naperville, IL 60540 / For more info, call (630) 369-9070. This year’s charities are 360 Youth Services, DuPage Children’s Museum, Edward Foundation Kids Care, Hesed House, KidsMatter, SamaraCare, Turning Pointe Autism Foundation and YMCA of Naperville. Link to website with complete details coming soon. 

Naperville Duathlon

Kiwanis Peanut Days (Sept. 7-Sept. 22)

Riverwalk Fine Art Fair (Free admission / Sept. 15-16, 2018) ***

Judd-A-Thon .1K hosted by the Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873 (Sept 16, 2018)

Harvest Pow Wow at Naper Settlement  Details to follow.

Naperville Independent Film Festival (Sept. 23-Sept. 30) 2018 event canceled while organization regroups.

Public Safety Open House (Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018)

PN’s Online Calendar of Upcoming Events 


October

West Suburban Irish Quiz Nights at Quigley’s Irish Pub (First Tuesday of most months)

Oktoberfest at Naper Settlement (Oct. 5, 6 & 7) 

Soap Box Derby Race (Oct. 6 & 7)

Naperville Woman’s Club  Witches Night Out Naperville (Thurs., Oct. 11 / Advance Tickets Only) 

Halloween Happening

Singing for Seniors (ALERT! New day! 3PM Sat., Oct. 20, at Yellow Box) *** 

Kids Best Friend Benefit for The Education Center (Friday, Oct. 2018) Details to come.

All Hallows Eve at Naper Settlement

Downtown Naperville Trick or Treat “Halloween Hop”

Main Street Promenade Trick or Treat “Halloween Hop”

Edward Healthy Driven Naperville Half Marathon (Marathon Discontinued, 5K Added for Oct. 21, 2018) 

Turning Pointe Autism Foundation Annual Pumpkin Race (Oct. 27, 2018) 

PN’s Online Calendar of Upcoming Events 


More EVENTS by Category on Navigation Bar

Other EVENTS organized by category on this website include “Walks, Runs & Bike Rides & A Duck Race,” “Naper Settlement,” “North Central College,” Anderson’s Booksignings” and “Charity Golf Outings.”

Find links to categories in the drop down under “EVENTS” on the navigation bar near the top of this page.

Thanks for linking up and reading PN. Many stories about this active community are saved in the PN archive. Try using the “search” tool to find posts about the “Riverwalk,” “Naper Settlement” or the “DuPage Children’s Museum,” for example.

Whenever possible, your support of the local business community is appreciated greatly.

For more of the latest happenings, visit PN’s online calendar of Upcoming Events where event planners also can add events. 

Happy Naperville Traditions! Thanks for reading.

Last Updated, August 28, 2018