Wilmette, Community

Wilmette Beach Bash will savor summer while raising funds for local parks on Saturday, Sept. 18

If you need more reasons to celebrate the end of summer on Wilmette’s beachfront, Park District’s Steve Wilson offered a trio of them:

“Music, food and drinks — that is the draw.”

Wilson and park district staff are supporting the Ouilmette Foundation’s Wilmette Beach Bash, a fundraiser for park district activities on Saturday, Sept. 18, at Gillson Park.

The event is returning after a year hiatus caused by COVID-19 precautions. The Beach Bash was introduced in 2019, when 1,200 attendees enjoyed the end-of-summer jam.

Guests enjoy the inaugural Wilmette Beach Bash in 2019.

“We wanted to open the new beachfront and showcase all of our beautiful efforts that were put into it,” said Suzanne Averill, a member of the foundation’s board. “Get the community together and just have fun, and raise money of course for the foundation.”

This year, the party is from 6-11 p.m. and will welcome live music from Wilmette artist Chris Karabas and local band Antler Chandelier, seven Chicagoland food trucks, beer from Cruz Blanca and Fortnight breweries, and wine from Wilmette’s The Bottle Shop. 

Tickets to the event, which can be purchased online, are $40 for entry and an all-inclusive drink wristband is $20. Kids age 5 or under are free.

All attendees must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test, according to park district officials.

The records, whether physical proof or digital files, will be checked at the event’s entry points, officials said.

The park district’s Lindsay Thomas, who is assisting with the event’s logistics, hopes the protocol will “help people feel comfortable” and lets guests know the district is “aware of what’s going on and want(s) to provide an event that is safe.”

Live music was also a part of the first event two years ago.

The music and food and drink will be located in Gillson’s parking lot, while a bonfire and family activities and games will take place down on the beach.

The food trucks on the menu are: Fat Shallot, La Cocinita, Soul and Smoke, Chicago Lunchbox, Happy Lobster, Kissed by Fire, and Kona Ice.

The Ouilmette Foundation raises funds to support park district programming and resources, and Wilson preached that the entire event is community-focused.

“It is on a great local property with a local foundation with vendors that primarily have local connections,” he said. “It is a very local event that is going to raise money that will be used to support this community.”


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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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