Naperville once again wrapped up the summer with one Last Fling. Although faced with a little rain, organizers say this year’s event was a success.
Thousands of residents and visitors headed to downtown Naperville on the opening day of the Last Fling for food, rides and music.
“The best part about the Last Fling is the corn dogs and all the rides they have here,” said Naperville resident John Hook.
“I went on the Moby Dick and on the Pharroh, and it was like an exhilarating rush. It was awesome,” said Naperville resident Sophia Povod.
“We come here everyday of the weekend,” said Brianna Giacobbe and Ava Parilla.
The following day didn’t start as well. Rains from Hurricane Isaac swept through the area, cancelling a few events and causing little turnout.
“The weather on Saturday was kind of a bummer for us,” said Brian Scott, Co-Executive Director, Last Fling 2012 Executive Committee. “You plan for 12 months to put an event on and then you have weather you can’t deal with, and that’s something completely out of your control.”
But it cleared up for the evening by the time two country stars took the stage.
“Chris Cagle and Craig Morgan put on a heck of a show,” said Rosemarie Breske Garvey, Co-Executive Director, Last Fling 2012 Executive Committee. “Unfortunately we didn’t have the attendance that we wanted on the hill Saturday evening.”
The remaining two days made up for Saturdays poor attendance. Organizers estimate about 175,000 people came out for the 2012 Last Fling.
1980’s singer Pat Benatar headlined Sunday evening.
“Getting to stand there on a Sunday night while Pat Benatar is playing, you get to ßlook out at the sea of people and everybody’s having a good time. That my favorite part,” said Scott.
Then thousands bared the heat and lined up for the Labor Day parade for the final day.
“Everybody in Naperville loves their holiday parades,” said Breske Garvey. “The turnout for that was fantastic.”
The Last Fling is put on by the Naperville Jaycees, a service organization designed to encourage and grow community leadership, and is their biggest fundraiser of the year.
“While it’s about raising money for the community, it’s also about building leadership in young people and the team with the Naperville Jaycees was just fantastic,” said Breske Garvey.
“It’s grooming a lot of great leaders in the Jaycees,” said Scott. “It is about raising money, but at the end of the day it’s also about putting on an event that the community can be proud of and enjoy the Labor Day weekend.”
The Jaycees raise about $150,000 a year and donate to nearly 100 local not-for-profits.
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