A grand reopening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for Cortesi Veterans Memorial Park will begin at 11 a.m. on Memorial Day, May 30. As part of the festivities, a VFW Memorial Program will follow the ribbon cutting.
The rededication ceremony will include a flag raising at the new memorial and a performance by the Willowbrook High School Choir, Parks and Recreation of Villa Park. announced in a news release.
Cortesi Veterans Memorial has undergone a renovation that includes upgrades to the park site such as construction of a new memorial and park sign, installation of a watering system, sod, benches and sidewalks, new landscape plant materials, and a refurbished drinking fountain.
The park was named after Dr. L.R. Cortesi, who was a World War II veteran and dedicated Villa Park resident, according to the release. The new memorial plaza features flag poles and memorial columns honoring each of the service branches. In addition, brick pavers commemorate individuals’ service to the U.S. armed forces. The park is at the intersection of Cortesi and Kenilworth avenues.
“Members of the Villa Park VFW Post 2801 approached the village in hopes of getting a more suitable memorial for all the residents of Villa Park who served and to those residents who had paid the ultimate sacrifice dying in battle for their country,” said Greg Gola, director of parks, recreation and fleet maintenance.
The park renovation included moving the Ajax missile at Cortesi to the VFW.
“An old train depot located adjacent to Cortesi Veterans Memorial Park was also renovated,” Gola said in the release. “The idea is to attract more people to the park and local business district by hosting more programs and special events at the site. We have many free special family events and concerts for all to enjoy this summer, so plan to bring out the blankets, chairs, a picnic and the family.”
Cortesi’s summer lineup includes Super Sensational Saturday Mornings from 10 a.m. to noon on June 11, July 16 and Aug. 13. The events will feature interactive family entertainment.
Also, Movies in the Park will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 1, 8 and 15.
An August Summer Concert Series will be on Thursdays, with concessions opening at 4 p.m. and concerts starting at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 4, 11, 18 and 25.
The historic train depot will be open for tours during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. It is also available for rental, and up to 49 people fit comfortably in the facility, the release stated. For rental information, call 630-834-8525.