Naperville Jaycees’ Last Fling kicks off in downtown Naperville

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The Naperville Jaycees’ Last Fling kicked off Friday in downtown Naperville. The free Labor Day weekend event offers some end-of-summer fun for the whole family, over a four-day stretch.

NCTV17 spoke with Naperville Jaycees’ event co-director Beth DeGeeter about this year’s carnival rides, live music, and more on Jackson Avenue along the Riverwalk.

Carnival rides for all ages

Carnival rides are always a big draw for the festival. Ride tickets are $1.25 each with each ride requiring about 5 to 6 tickets. 

There’s also the option to purchase a daily wristband. And those who plan to return multiple days can buy a mega pass, giving access to unlimited carnival rides throughout the whole weekend.

“The biggest one is the Freak Out,” said DeGeeter. “I’ve been on it a couple (of) times already. And for the little kids, we also have some little kid rides. There’s a dragon ride, which is really amazing.”

The carnival is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and noon to 8 p.m. on Monday.

Sunday, Sept. 3 is Special Needs Day at the carnival. Patrons with special needs can get no-wait wristbands to enjoy rides with a guardian from 10 a.m to 2 p.m.

Business expo at the Fling

Jackson Avenue is lined with tents featuring businesses and 17 different food vendors from the surrounding area.

“You always have the carnival food, the fried food that you just love and enjoy that you just come to expect at every festival that you go to,” said DeGeeter.

Music and events all weekend

A variety of local and regional music groups will perform on the Coors Light Chill Stage, located right off Main St., or the beer garden stage.

“We just have so many wonderful bands that are coming out to perform for you and just have a good time the last weekend of summer,” said DeGeeter. “We just want everyone to come out and have fun and rock to some music.”

The Jaycees have plenty of family-friendly attractions planned throughout the weekend as well.

“We also have some kid events coming up starting tomorrow,” said DeGeeter. “We have our family fun area, we have a dunk tank. We’re going to end Monday with a foam party, which is something new we’re bringing in. We have improv shows, we have a show choir. (There will be) reptiles for you to see and look at and learn a little bit as well.”

The full music lineup and event schedule can be found on the Last Fling website.

Community fun for a greater cause

This is the Naperville Jaycees’ 40th year of running the Last Fling, which is their largest fundraiser. Through it, they’ve raised millions of dollars for local nonprofits organizations.

The Jaycees’ are also collecting nonperishables for Loaves & Fishes Community Services at six event entrances.

“Any donations, like the tips that we get when you purchase anything from the Jaycees, we (then) put on some free events for the community,” said DeGeeter. “So whatever we raise here, the volunteers that work so hard over the years, it’s just such a treat to give back.”

NCTV17 to stream the parade

Naperville’s Labor Day Parade will wrap up the weekend’s fun. It begins at Naperville North High School at 10 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 4, and makes its way through downtown Naperville, ending at Naperville Central High School. The full parade route can be viewed on the Last Fling website.

NCTV17 will broadcast the parade on our channel and website.

“There’s just so much fun for all ages,” said DeGeeter. “We just really want everyone to come out here and have a great time. It’s food, fun, friends, and fundraising. That’s really what we want to get out there, and we’re so excited to be able to do this year after year.”

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