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For Immediate Release
ComEd Media Relations
Celebrate warmer months ahead with live entertainment, family-friendly activities
CHICAGO (May 3, 2018) – Summer in Chicago makes the other nine months of the year worth the wait. ComEd and the Chicago Park District will mark Chicago's official season-changing signal – turning on Buckingham Fountain – this Sunday, May 6.
"We take our responsibilities to our customers seriously, both to connect them to safe and reliable energy and to invest in our vibrant communities," said Anne Pramaggiore, president & CEO of ComEd. "We're excited to bring residents, visitors, and Chicago's favorite organizations together again to switch on the iconic Buckingham Fountain and welcome the warmer months ahead."
Chicagoland residents and visitors will join ComEd, the Park District, and more than 20 of the area's leading organizations for the fourth-annual Switch on Summer event, which will include giveaways, family-friendly activities, and live entertainment.
"Buckingham Fountain is a historic landmark that has served as an iconic symbol of Chicago's rich cultural legacy for the past 91 years," said Chicago Park District CEO & Superintendent Michael P. Kelly. "We are excited to partner with ComEd for the fourth year to switch on the fountain and officially kick off the season of outdoor activities and fun in Chicago."
WGN-TV Chief Meteorologist Tom Skilling will serve as master of ceremonies for Switch on Summer. The event will take place from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., with the fountain set to be switched on at 2 p.m. Misha Brown, a ComEd customer from Chicago's Fernwood neighborhood, will switch on the fountain in front of thousands of attendees. Brown was selected via a Facebook contest that asked entrants to label this accurate statement as true or false: There's plenty of sunlight to power solar energy in Illinois.
"It's a moment everyone in our city awaits each spring in Chicago – the annual activation of Buckingham Fountain!" Skilling said. "I am honored and thrilled to be a part of such a wonderful and exciting event, and I can't wait for the day to arrive. See you there!"
Live entertainment will be provided by 1980s cover band Sixteen Candles and The Millennials, a local band that won ComEd's Facebook contest to perform at the event. Participating organizations will include the Adler Planetarium, Brookfield Zoo, Chicago Blackhawks, Field Museum, Lincoln Park Zoo, Museum of Science and Industry, Navy Pier, Shedd Aquarium, and many more.
For event updates, please visit ComEd.com/SwitchOnSummer.
Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NYSE: 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, and YouTube.
About the Buckingham Fountain
The Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain officially opened to the public on May 26, 1927, and was dedicated on August 26, 1927. The Fountain is the centerpiece of Grant Park—Chicago's "Front Yard." Architect Edward Bennett (1874–1954) designed the monument in collaboration with French sculptor Marcel Francois Loyau (1895–1936) and engineer Jacques H. Lambert. Inspired by the Latona Basin at Versailles, the structure comprises four basins clad in elaborately carved granite and pink Georgia marble. The Buckingham Fountain, however, is twice the size and re-circulates approximately three times more water than its French counterpart. Chicago's fountain is also unique as it symbolizes Lake Michigan. Conveying the enormity of the lake, its major display uses as much as 15,000 gallons of water per minute and sprays water to a height of 150 feet from the ground. For more information, visit www.chicagoparkdistrict.com and facebook.com/thebuckinghamfountain.