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posted: 7/18/2014 1:14 PM

Cantigny celebrates McCormick Day with free activities for public

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  • Col. Robert R. McCormick plays baseball at Cantigny, where he lived for 35 years until his death in 1955. The park will celebrate his birthday with festivities on Wednesday, July 30.

      Col. Robert R. McCormick plays baseball at Cantigny, where he lived for 35 years until his death in 1955. The park will celebrate his birthday with festivities on Wednesday, July 30.
    Courtesy of Cantigny Park

 
By Jeff Reiter
Cantigny Park/Robert R. McCormick foundations

Cantigny Park will celebrate the birthday of its benefactor, Col. Robert R. McCormick, with activities and demonstrations for all ages from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 30, at 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton.

McCormick, former editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune, was born July 30, 1880. He lived on the 500-acre country estate from 1920 until his passing in 1955. His will designated Cantigny as a gift to the community.

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Parking and all activities will be free on McCormick Day. Activities include:

• McCormick Museum open house from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.;

• Amy McCormick performance by Ellie Carlson in the McCormick Museum at 11 a.m.;

• Splash artillery target practice at the First Division Museum from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.;

• Birthday cake-cutting in the Visitors Center at noon with cupcakes and ice cream for visitors, while supplies last; and

• Wreath-laying at 3 p.m. at Exedra, the final resting place of McCormick and his first wife, Amy. Cantigny Post 556 of the American Legion conducts the brief ceremony.

Throughout the day, vintage games for children and crafts will be available on the Parade Field. Cantigny's giant mural will be available for painting starting at 1 p.m. Kids also are invited to make newspaper hats and birthday cards on the McCormick Museum's south porch.

The McCormick family loved dogs, and bulldogs were a particular favorite. On McCormick Day, Adopt-A-Bull Rescue, an English bulldog rescue organization, will be on-site to share their animals with visitors and promote the organization's mission.

Also visiting will be Save-A-Vet.org, a nonprofit that rescues military and law enforcement working dogs when they are no longer able to serve.

The First Division Museum and Robert R. McCormick Museum will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to both museums is free throughout the year.

Visitors also may stroll through Cantigny's 30 acres of colorful gardens, including the Rose Garden and inspiring Idea Garden.

Inside the Cantigny Visitors Center, Le Jardin will serve lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Bertie's will be open for ice cream, snacks and coffee drinks from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Also on McCormick Day, the Cantigny Shop in the Visitors Center will be open 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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