Wilmette and friends were dancing in the streets on Saturday, punctuating summer with the second Wilmette Block Party.
Music, food, drinks and thousands of neighbors drifted through blocked-off Wilmette and Central avenues in the bash’s sequel, made possible by persistent residents and willing local agencies.
The Village of Wilmette debuted THE Wilmette Block Party in 2022 as the capstone to a sesquicentennial celebration. Afterward, attendees praised the event and pleaded for it to come back. The Wilmette Park District even used some of the pleas in a marketing campaign to promote Year 2.
“People wanted for us to bring it back and we came together with the Village and (Wilmette-Kenilworth Chamber of Commerce) so we could make it happen,” said Lindsay Thomas, the park district’s superintendent of operations. “It wouldn’t have been possible without (all the organizations involved).”
She added, “The turnout is everything I’d hoped it would be.”
The party was split into sections, respectively occupied by food vendors, sponsors, beverage tents, a children’s area with a stage, and the main stage. Tables and benches were interspersed throughout, and plenty of guests used the Village Hall Green to enjoy the day.
Plenty of local businesses set up shop, pleasing Chamber of Commerce Director Jennifer Herren.
“We’re thrilled at the participation,” she said. “We loved working with the park district and village to put this event on for the community.”
Performances included the New Trier High School drum line and local dance groups. Musicians and DJ’s took to the main stage with Antler Chandelier and Wedding Banned capping the performances.
Kevin Buchman, of Glencoe, was enjoying the music with his family. Buchman’s wife, Maggie, attended the event last year and suggested they go.
He was happy they did.
“It’s a perfect opportunity to get kids out of the house after their nap. They love live music,” he said, adding “I think this is great. In Glencoe, it’s a little smaller, we have fewer events like this. It’s a great way for us to meet folks and you get a sense of community when you come to these festivals.”
While an annual block paty isn’t assured, Thomas said that is the goal of the park district and other organizers.
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