By: Madeline Klepec | | Published On: 2019-08-28
The end of summer is nigh; school is back in session; and the post summer blues are hitting you hard. However, there is one last hurrah before fall begins: Naperville Jaycees’ Last Fling. The event will run the weekend of August 30 through September 2 in downtown Naperville.
The Last Fling has been ingrained in the history and culture of the Naperville community for over 50 years. The event began 54 years ago by Rick Motta under the supervision of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce. However, in the 1980s, the Naperville Jaycees took the reins to begin generating funds for the Jaycee Marina portion of the Riverwalk.
“Regardless of how the Fling has grown or changed, it remains a fundraiser for the local Jaycees Chapter — a way for the organization to give back to Naperville and the surrounding communities,” Karen Coleman, PR marketing and entertainment co-chair of the Last Fling says.
Over the years, Coleman says that the Last Fling has evolved quite a bit. What started as an event that took up one parking lot, now spans more than a square mile. From dozens of food vendors to multiple music stages to carnival rides, the festival has made a mark on Naperville. Most notably, the parade is the largest Labor Day Parade in all of Illinois.
Coleman explains that the Last Fling isn’t something that comes together over night. Each member plays an important role in the creation of the memorable event, which requires a full-time commitment from some. “In spite of all the trials and frustrations that come along with any ‘group project,’ all Jaycees are proud to bring the community together to celebrate who and what we are as Napervillians,” she adds.
This year, Coleman says Naperville will see an influx of musical acts at the Last Fling. Their goal is to “cultivate a local festival feel.” According to Coleman, there are hundreds of local and regional acts that apply every year to perform at the Last Fling. Bands such as Better Than Ezra, 7th Heaven and Vertical Horizon will be among the talent performing during the event.
“The Jaycees appreciate all the support over the past we have been shown by our patrons, the City of Naperville, Naper Settlement, the Naperville Park District and our numerous sponsor partners over the past 38 years as we have continued the tradition started by Rick Motta in 1965,” Coleman says.
Summer isn’t over just yet! Make sure you purchase Last Fling tickets and help support the Naperville Jaycees this Labor Day weekend. Visit the website for more information: .