Introduction to Naperville, Illinois
The Illinois city of Naperville, one of the largest cities in the state, sits about 30 miles west of Chicago. The city is principally located in DuPage County, with parts of it overlapping into Will County. Several major highways encompass the city, including Interstates I-88, I-55, and I-355; U.S. Route 34; and Illinois State Highways 53 and 59. Naperville also has one private airport, the Naper Aero Club field, on its western edge. Naperville is home to North Central College and houses satellite campuses of Northern Illinois University, Robert Morris College, and DePaul University.
First settled in 1831 by Captain Joseph Naper and his brother John, Naperville became incorporated as a city in 1890. A rural community during most of its existence, Naperville began to experience a population surge in the 1960s which continued through the end of the 20th century, coincident with the urban sprawl from the Chicago metropolitan area which introduced several large corporations, employment, and prosperity to the area. In 2006 Naperville marked the 175th anniversary of its founding with a series of concerts and celebrations taking place throughout the city.
Naperville Events and Attractions
Naperville hosts many annual events. In addition to traditional parades to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day and Memorial Day, the city is home to the annual Ribfest, an outdoor food festival held during the days leading up to and including Independence Day, a Labor Day festival and carnival known as Last Fling (Labor Day weekend), and a series of weekly summer concerts featuring the Naperville Municipal Band held in the city's Central Park.
Naperville is also home to several cultural, artistic, and recreational attractions. Among them are the following:
- Naper Settlement: A museum village consisting of 19th-century homes and shops.
- Summerplace Theatre: A community theatre performing three to four shows each year.
- Centennial Beach: Accommodates thousands of visitors each year.
- Riverwalk: Built by residents in 1981 to commemorate the city's 150th birthday.
- DuPage Symphony Orchestra: Includes 85 members who perform a wide array of concerts and special events throughout the year.
- Millennium Carillon: A musical tower featuring 72 bronze bells ranging in weight from ten pounds to six tons.
- Naperville Men's Glee Club: Nationally-recognized and in frequent demand throughout the greater Chicago area.
- DuPage children's Museum
- Magical Starlight Theatre /li>
Naperville sports fans only need to travel a short 15 minutes to the adjacent city of Geneva, which is home to the Kane County Cougars, a Class Single-A affiliate of Major League Baseball's Oakland Athletics. The Cougars are members of the Midwest League. For major league professional sports action, fans can take a slightly longer ride east to the city of Chicago, which is replete with teams encompassing just about every major sport. Chicago teams include the following:
- Chicago Bears: National Football League (NFL)
- Chicago Bulls: National Basketball Association (NBA)
- Chicago White Sox: Major League Baseball (American League)
- Chicago Cubs: Major League Baseball (National League)
- Chicago Fire: Major League Soccer (MLS)
- Chicago Blackhawks: National Hockey League (NHL)
- Chicago Sky: Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA)
- Chicago Rush: Arena Football League (AFL)
- Chicago Machine: Major League Lacrosse (MLL)
- Chicago Rockstars: American Basketball Association (ABA)