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Hometown Picnic at Naper Settlement

It was a Sunday full of family fun at Naper Settlement, with the return of an annual favorite.

“We are hosting a Hometown Picnic which is a time for the community to come and celebrate and come together, enjoy the nice weather, bring a meal to share with the family, watch a vintage baseball game, and we’re gonna have an Abraham Lincoln impersonator here today. The kids can also participate in some old fashioned games,” said Learning Experience Team Leader of Naper Settlement Jackie Maronic.

Historic Fun

Part of the fun came from a bit of Naperville history stored right at the Settlement.

“We’re going to bring out the Joe Naper Fire Pumper and it’s Naperville’s first fire engine that was purchased shortly after the Chicago fire, and it’s housed here at Naper Settlement,” said Maronic.

Sunny skies drew both regulars and newcomers to the event.

“We just went on the site this morning, we were just looking for somewhere to get out and enjoy the nice weather today. I have three kids that are really into like the American frontier, so we just thought Naper Settlement. Then we saw about the baseball game, and this is the most interesting part of it, really it’s great,” said first time attendee Maureen Callahan.

Old School Baseball

The main event of the day was vintage bare-knuckle baseball, as the Lemont Quarrymen took on the McLean County Prairie Chickens.

“1858 rules from the pre-Civil War era, so we’re doing a living history presentation of what baseball would’ve been like in that time,” said Quarrymen member Michael Ciurej. “We’ve played here for I think at least six or seven years. I’ve been playing there for as long I’ve been playing, for seventeen years with those guys.”

Naper Settlement hosts the picnic welcoming all to get a small glimpse into fun times of days gone by.

“It’s just a really great time to see a little bit about what past times were back then and to just watch the community enjoy that, it’s pretty great,” said Maronic.

Naperville News 17 Patrick Codo reports

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