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Neighbors of DuPage

Cantigny Park celebrates 60th birthday

Jul 14, 2015 01:02PM ● By Neighbors Magazines

Cantigny Park and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation plan to celebrate their 60th anniversary by giving the community a special day in the park on Thurs., July 30 beginning at 10am. Performances, events and activities throughout the day are free to the public. Parking also is complimentary. Entertainment will include three outdoor concerts, capped off by the Chicago Sinfonietta at 7:30 pm. 

“This is our birthday party with the community,” said David Hiller, McCormick Foundation president and chief executive officer. “Cantigny was Robert R. McCormick’s gift to all of us so it’s appropriate that we celebrate our 60-year milestone together and welcome everybody to the park for a fun and memorable day.” Colonel McCormick, the former editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune, lived on the 500-acre Cantigny estate from 1919 until his passing in 1955. July 30, his birthday, is commemorated annually as McCormick Day at the park, but this year promises to be the best celebration ever.

Activities will span all areas of the park, including the gardens, McCormick mansion and First Division Museum. Themed activities will reflect McCormick's farm life at Cantigny, his journalism career and his leadership in the U.S. Army's First Division.

Family-friendly activities and attractions include:

·        “Miss Jamie & The Farmhands” in concert on the allée (2pm)

·        “Barefoot Hawaiian” in concert on the allée (5:30pm)

·        Vintage games and crafts

·        Splash artillery game

·        Robert and Amy McCormick living history performances

·        Remote control plane demo and paper airplane making/contest

·        Guided history and garden tours

·        McCormick Museum open house

·        First Division Museum behind the scenes

·        Birthday cake cutting

·        Vintage “Base Ball” exhibition

            “A League of Their Own,” parts of which were filmed at Cantigny, will play continuously in the Visitors Center Theater. Also in the Visitors Center, guests can make memories at the 60th anniversary photo booth and enjoy a special photo exhibit featuring Cantigny through the years.

            At 5 pm, a brief wreath-laying ceremony will take place at Colonel McCormick’s gravesite, conducted by Cantigny Post 556, American Legion. The Post has been active at Cantigny since 1928.

            The day’s grand finale features Maestro Mei-Ann Chen and the innovative Chicago Sinfonietta.  Music performed in front of the First Division Museum will include Saibei Dance, Carmen Fantasy and Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4, along with some surprises tailored to the festive occasion.  In addition, two young musicians from Naperville, Rebecca Moy and Jack McCammon, will be featured soloists. 

Cantigny is open every day this summer from 7am to dusk.