Wilmette, News

News Briefs: Wilmette Block Party sets date for third event; Regina Dominican has new president; Metra expands service on UP North line

The Wilmette Park District, Village of Wilmette and Wilmette/Kenilworth Chamber of Commerce have announced that the third annual Wilmette Block Party will take place on Saturday, Sept. 7.

The event will run from noon to 10 p.m. in the Wilmette Village Center (near Central and Wilmette avenues) and feature music, food, beverages and children’s activities.

“I am so thrilled to call THE Block Party an annual tradition! The event has something for everyone — it is such a wonderful celebration that brings families, friends, and neighbors together,” Village President Senta Plunkett said in a statement.

The community event debuted to much fanfare in 2022 as the flagship event to celebrate the town’s 150th anniversary. Significant positive feedback led to a second event in 2023 and officials barely hesitated to make it an annual event.

“We began planning for this year’s event as soon as last year’s ended. We’ll bring back some community favorites and have an amazing headlining band we will announce soon!” Park District Superintendent of Operations Lindsay Thomas said in the message.

More details of the event will be announced in June on the Wilmette Park District website.

Last year, the event featured a main stage with multiple live music acts throughout the day. Local organizations, such as school dancer and musicians, also performed during the event. The block party typically shuts down the area to traffic, but local businesses remain open.

Krista Gallagher, of Wilmette

Wilmette high school picks new president

The Regina Dominican Board of Directors has announced the appointment of Krista Gallagher as the school’s new president. Gallagher holds degrees from Duke University and the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.

According to a release from Regina Dominican, Gallagher has experience in leadership and marketing and a commitment to academic excellence and service to others. She has held senior leadership roles at McKinsey & Company and JPMorgan Chase, and her work experience will be instrumental in guiding Regina Dominican’s growth and impact on the community.

In a statement, Gallagher said, “I am really honored to join this community and continue Regina Dominican’s mission of academic excellence and commitment to service and faith.”

Gallagher reportedly will assume the position of president after this school year. The outgoing president, Elizabeth Schuster, “has created a strong path forward for the school and her contributions have made a lasting impact on the Regina Dominican community,” according to the release.

Gallagher is a Wilmette resident who the board beleives is in a great position to lead the future of the Wilmette institution.

“We are confident that Ms. Gallagher will inspire us all to reach new heights as we continue to uphold the values of faith, scholarship and service that define our Regina Dominican community.” Board Chair Sally Grimes Robey said in a statement.

New station and trains on UP North line

The city of Chicago’s Metra service is expanding its weekday service on the UP North Line with the opening of a new station in Edgewater.

The UP North Line services stations along the North Shore, including those in Wilmette, Winnetka, Kenilworth, Glencoe and Highland Park.

The Peterson/Ridge Station is expected to open on Monday, May 20, which will also result in four new trains added to the weekday schedule.

The new schedule will increase service options for riders between Chicago and Waukegan and Kenosha, with new inbound trains departing Waukegan at 5:35 a.m. and arriving in Chicago at 6:55 a.m.

A second new inbound train will depart Winnetka at 7:53 a.m., arriving in Chicago at 8:35 a.m. The change is meant to relieve crowding on rush hour trains, according to a release from Metra.

For outbound service, Metra is adding a 6:40 a.m. departure serving stations between Chicago and Highland Park. For the evening rush, a new train will depart Chicago at 4:50 p.m., serving stops between Chicago and Winnetka. That train will also stop at Ravinia Park during concert season.

The changes are the result of increased ridership on the UP North Line since the pandemic, Metra officials say.

“We continue to monitor customer feedback and this new schedule shows that we are listening,” Metra CEO Jim Derwinski said in a statement. “In addition to the new trains, riders in Kenosha and Waukegan as well as reverse commuters will now have more options. The grand opening of our new station at Peterson/Ridge also provides another much-needed access point to our service.”

The new schedule can be viewed on the Metra website.

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This article was developed using publicly available information, such as press releases, municipal records and social media posts.

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