Inaugural Naperville Salute Festival

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Naperville Salute

“The Naperville Salute is a hometown festival to celebrate all of the veterans and active military that have fought for us to have our freedoms,” said event co-chair Michele Clemen.

A new event has made its way to Downtown Naperville this holiday weekend.

Today kick starts the inaugural Naperville Salute Festival. The event at Rotary Hill includes live music, food, drinks, and family fun.

“We hope that the community just enjoys themselves,” said Clemen. “This is the first big event in Naperville in over a year and a half and we wanted to bring this sense of community back and just have some fun.”

Enjoying the Day

Some visitors who stopped by today came to start the celebrations.

“I just heard about this event the other day and thought it sounded like fun and a good way to start the Fourth of July weekend,” said Aurora resident Colleen Wright.

While it was all about reminiscing for others.

“With the loss of Ribfest and the pandemic, I mean just getting outside. We saw this in the local newspaper and it reminded us of all the good things,” said Naperville resident Thomas Ludovice. “Our adult boys now, when they were kids this is what we used to come to.”

“I’m really happy to be here with my son and daughter on a Friday evening in Downtown Naperville and that we’re truly blessed to be here,” said Drew Snarey, a Naperville resident.

Proceeds Help Veterans

Naperville Responds for Veterans is hosting the event, with all the proceeds going to the non-profit.

“This event’s going to allow us to raise some necessary funds to operate and fulfill our mission to serve veterans in financial need in much needed home improvement and home modification,” said Dan Jurjovec, president of Naperville Responds for Veterans.

July 3 and 4 Lineup

Veterans, active military, and children 12 and under can come in for free. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door.

Saturday morning, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the family fun zone with exotic animals, snow cones, and face painting will open.

On the lineup starting at 4:30 p.m. – Convoy, Eric Chesser, and Mike & Joe will take the stage.

And on the Fourth of July, a culmination of the celebrations. The free fireworks display will take place at Frontier Sports Complex at 9:30 p.m. NCTV17 will broadcast the fireworks live on air and online.

Organizers said they hope to make this an annual event.

Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.