Brighton Park resident wins contest to power on Buckingham Fountain at the eighth annual summer kickoff event
Blue skies and rising temperatures means summer is just around the corner. ComEd is joining the Chicago Park District to kickoff the summer season in Chicagoland with the annual Switch on Summer celebration this Saturday, May 14, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Buckingham Fountain. ComEd is pleased to announce several special guests for this year’s celebration, including Chicago First Lady Amy Eshleman and Eugene Rodriguez, a resident of the Brighton Park neighborhood and this year’s sweepstakes winner, who will have the honor of flipping the switch to activate Buckingham Fountain for the season.
“ComEd is excited to power on the summer season at the eighth annual Switch on Summer event in Grant Park,” ComEd CEO Gil Quiniones said. “Though I’m new to the area, I’ve heard that Chicago summers are pure magic, which is why I’m pleased to join Chicago’s First Lady, city officials and thousands of Chicagoans to celebrate the start of summer.”
Attendees will enjoy remarks from Quiniones, WGN-TV Chief Meteorologist Tom Skilling, who returns this year as the master of ceremonies, and Chicago Park District Interim General Superintendent & CEO, Rosa Escareño, who will welcome more than 15,000 expected attendees from across Chicagoland.
“Every year, the Switch on Summer event invites residents and visitors to gather around the Buckingham Fountain to celebrate the beginning of summer activities," Mayor of Chicago Lori Lightfoot said. "This year in particular, I encourage students and their families to stop by and learn more about a variety of STEM and other educational programs available to keep our young people engaged all summer long. I am thrilled the leaders at ComEd and the Chicago Park District continue to host this event, which helps to kick off the near start of the summer season with fun, safe and productive activities for residents of all ages to enjoy.”
ComEd’s sweepstakes contest invited ComEd customers to answer clean energy trivia questions for a chance to win the honor of turning on Buckingham Fountain. Brighton Park’s Eugene Rodriguez, a 69-year-old retired serviceman, beat out more than 4,500 contestants. He is excited to represent his community at the festival this year.
“As a lifelong South Sider, I am honored to be selected to turn on Buckingham Fountain this year,” said Rodriguez. “There is no better place than Chicago when it comes to enjoying summertime activities, and I can’t wait to start the summer off by flipping the big switch this Saturday.”
The annual event helps launch the start of summer in Chicago, offering fun and free family-friendly activities for residents and visitors to enjoy. Buckingham Fountain, a major summer tourist attraction in Chicago, welcomes millions of visitors each year and celebrates its 95th anniversary this month.
Several of ComEd’s arts and cultural partners will join the celebration to offer interactive and educational activities. The event will feature appearances by beloved children’s characters, fun giveaways, and special performances by the 1980's cover band Sixteen Candles, and Angel Meléndez & the 911 Mambo Orchestra curated by Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center. A variety of vendors and food trucks will be on hand to offer local fare for purchase.
During the event, ComEd and partner organizations will provide information on free resources for the community, including summer STEM education programs, tips from Energy Force ambassadors, solar energy resources available for its customers, and more.
Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with approximately 10 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit ComEd.com, and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.