WESTMONT – Summers in Westmont are marked by two traditions: the Westmont Street Fair and Cruisin’ Nights and the Taste of Westmont. For years, these family friendly festivals have become a staple for the western suburb, drawing people from the community and throughout DuPage County.
The team that pulls it off every year just celebrated its 15th anniversary. The Westmont Special Events Corporation is a nonprofit with nearly 200 volunteers, including its committed board of directors. Together, they work hard to bring the fun and continue Westmont’s highly-anticipated events.
“It takes a lot of volunteer power to make things happen,” said Larry McIntyre, founder of WSEC and village communications director. “It really speaks to the dedication of the citizens.”
McIntyre shared that Cruisin’ Nights, which take place on Thursdays from June to August, is typically handled by a group of 15 volunteers who spend up to five hours to keep the show running smoothly.
“A lot of people make this their summer,” McIntyre said. “They’re out there every Thursday for the entire summer, and there’s a lot of dedication behind it.”
WSEC president Sam Alonzo echoed McIntyre and shared that his volunteers are the heart and soul of the organization.
“Our volunteers, I feel, provide great customer service,” Alonzo said. “We help them park their cars, and when they leave the event, we thank them for coming and we say, ‘We’ll see you next week.’”
It’s that spirit and gratitude that brings people back.
“At the end of the season, when we have our last car show, person after person tells us that they wish the event would keep going on,” Alonzo said.
As for the Taste, the WSEC takes the time to put together a string of performances to honor the late legendary jazz musician Muddy Waters, who settled in Westmont later in life. The WSEC also hosts seasonal pub crawls to highlight the village’s bars and restaurants, and regularly partners with local groups to promote good causes.
For McIntyre, Alonzo and Kristina Kaniauskaite, WSEC event coordinator, what they love most about Westmont is the camaraderie among community members and their energy. The trio hopes that the people of Westmont cherish these events, spread the word and join in on the festivities.
“It’s the feedback and seeing families enjoying Cruisin’ Nights,” Kaniauskaite said of her proudest moment at WSEC. “We get so many, like different comments on social media like ‘I can’t wait!’ and ‘It’s so much fun!’ I think that’s really enjoyable for our organization and kind of makes it worth all of the work.”
Those interested in learning more about Westmont Special Events Corporation can visit westmontevents.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org. WSEC is located at One South Cass Ave., No. 102, in Westmont and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.