West Chicago Railroad Days returns with parade, music, and fireworks

West Chicago welcomes back annual parade with music and fireworks

Editor's note: West Chicago has canceled its Railroad Days Parade set for Sunday, July 10. The decision was made based on advice from West Chicago Police due to safety concerns in response to the Fourth of July attack in Highland Park. Police are concerned about the potential for copycat scenarios. Other Railroad Days events are still scheduled to go forward. For details, visit

West Chicago's Railroad Days returns July 7-10 to Pioneer Park, 479 W. Forest Ave.

The four-day festival includes a parade, carnival, regional music acts, kids' activities, food, a beer tent, and fireworks.

On Thursday, Sammy & The Knights will kick off the festival at 6 p.m. At 8:30 p.m., the Paul Abella Trio, featuring Paul Abella, guitarist Billy Denk, bassist Chris Bernhardt, and vibraphonist Preyas Roy fuse pop, jazz, and Brazilian, Afro-Cuban and funk rhythms.

On Friday, DJ Israel Garcia will get you in the groove starting at 4:30 p.m. At 6 p.m., dance to the southern rock and country sound of Southbound Chicago. Rico, influenced by the sound and spirit of Santana, will bring their rich sound of diversified musical cultures at 9 p.m.

Rico will bring their Santana style music to West Chicago Railroad Days on Friday, July 8. Courtesy of Western DuPage Chamber of Commerce

On Saturday, DJ Israel Garcia returns at 4:30 p.m., followed by The Student Body playing all your favorite high energy party anthems at 6:30 p.m.

At 9 p.m., Fueled by Emo, a six-piece cover band named after the label that brought together their favorite bands, bring their pop punk and emo music to the stage.

West Chicago's own freestyle artist Brandon Perez will open the final day of the festival at 3:45 p.m. Sunday.

At 5:30 p.m., Grupo Rimel, a Norteño group made up of sisters: Letty (vocals and fifth bass), Shely (accordion), Tita (vocals and electric bass) and Melen (drums) will perform.

Calaveras LD, a Chicago-based Spanglish Latin jazz rock band, will close out the festival at 8 p.m. with their music influenced by different styles of music and artists such as Santana, Cafe Tacvba and Snarky Puppy, to mention few.

Carnival hours are: 5:30 to 10 p.m. Thursday, 5:30 to 11 p.m. Friday, 1 to 11 p.m. Saturday, and 2:30 to 10 p.m. Sunday. There are unlimited ride specials for $30 on Thursday and $25 Saturday and Sunday.

As part of the Kids' Zone, the younger festivalgoers can make their own alebrije creature in the style of Cantigny Park's outdoor exhibit, "Alebrijes: Creatures of a Dream World." Daily Herald file photo

The Kids Zone for ages prekindergarten to fifth grade will be open from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday. Be mystified by magician MagicDewayne. Kids also can learn how to make their very own alebrijes, imaginary creatures that possess elements from different animals, like Cantigny Park's outdoor exhibit titled "Alebrijes: Creatures of a Dream World."

Educare West DuPage will bring bubbles and games for the kids. Healthy West Chicago will offer a goody bag of treats. Friends of the West Chicago City Museum will have old-time games and even train items to look at. New Life Bilingual Church will have soccer activities and face painting. The West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission will be on-site for the kids, and ReaLife Church will also have crafts and games, too.

For the fireworks at dusk Saturday, avoid the traffic and take advantage of the free shuttle bus service from 6 to 11 p.m. The buses will be running at 15-minute intervals at each pick-up/drop-off location.

  West Chicago police officers open the 2018 Railroad Days parade. This year's parade will step off at 1 p.m. Sunday. John Starks/, 2018

On Sunday, enjoy the "Together" themed parade, which steps off at 1 p.m. at Ingalton Avenue and Elmwood Street. The parade will head southbound on Ingalton Avenue to Washington Street, then head westbound to Arbor Avenue, north to National and Arbor Avenue.

For a schedule, visit or

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