For Immediate Release
ComEd Media Relations 312-394-3500
Chicago Park District Communications Department 312-742-4798
Kick off summer on May 13 with ComEd, Chicago Park District and Tom Skilling at the free Switch on Summer festival
CHICAGO (April 13, 2023) — ComEd and the Chicago Park District are pleased to announce the return of the Switch on Summer celebration for its ninth consecutive year. Members of the community are invited to Grant Park where ComEd and the Chicago Park District will switch on Buckingham Fountain to mark the unofficial start of the summer season. WGN-TV Chief Meteorologist Tom Skilling will serve as the master of ceremonies.
The free event from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 13, will feature family-friendly entertainment, local arts and cultural organizations and information on ComEd summer programs including the ComEd EV Rally and energy efficiency resources and Park District summer programs and employment opportunities.
ComEd is calling on residents to enter a sweepstakes for the chance to switch on Buckingham Fountain at the event. All entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. CT on April 26, 2023.
"When I think of Buckingham Fountain, I think of warm, sunny days in Chicago, which is why I'm so excited to join ComEd and the Chicago Park District to switch on summer at this landmark Chicago attraction," said Tom Skilling, WGN-TV's Chief Meteorologist. "I look forward to joining Chicago residents, families and visitors at the fountain on May 13 to celebrate the start of summer, enjoy educational programing, outdoor entertainment and classic Chicago cuisine."
"ComEd is proud to join the City of Chicago and customers from all of our communities to Switch on Summer year after year," said Gil Quiniones, ComEd CEO. "This year we are welcoming summer by inviting guests to enjoy live entertainment, and to learn about electric vehicles, ways to save energy and other green ComEd initiatives. Buckingham Fountain is an iconic attraction for residents and visitors around the world, and we hope all will join us as we power on summertime in the city."
Buckingham Fountain, a major tourist attraction, welcomes millions of visitors a year and serves as the backdrop for many of Chicago's summertime events and activities along the lakefront.
"It wouldn't be summer in Chicago without the spectacular Buckingham Fountain water display," said Rosa Escareno, General Superintendent and CEO of the Chicago Park District. "The iconic Fountain is one of Chicago's most beloved historic attractions and architectural gems that brings great joy and amazement to city residents and visitors, year after year. The Chicago Park District invites everyone to come and countdown with us as we turn on the fountain for its 96th season during the free Switch on Summer event with ComEd.
The event will feature appearances by beloved children's characters, fun giveaways and special performances by 1980s cover band Sixteen Candles, Angel Meléndez & the 911 Mambo Orchestra and The Jesse White Tumblers. ComEd arts and cultural partners including the National Museum of Mexican Art, Museum of Science and Industry and The Morton Arboretum will offer interactive and educational activities. A full list of the arts and cultural partners in attendance can be found on the Switch On Summer website. Additionally, a variety of vendors and food trucks will be on hand to offer local fare for purchase.
Thousands of attendees from across Chicagoland are expected to attend. For event updates, visit ComEd.com/SwitchOnSummer.
Summer is an exciting season in Chicago's parks that is chock-full of programs and events. The online program schedule for 2023 Summer Day Camp and Summer Park Programs is available starting April 24, and registration begins May 1 and May 2. Spring programs, which run from April 10 to June 9 are open for registration now at ChicagoParkDistrict.com/Spring-Programs. The Chicago Park District provides access to year-round, enriching recreational and educational opportunities for Chicagoans of all ages, and offers financial assistance for patrons in need.
ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 200 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit
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The Chicago Park District is the Gold Medal Award winner, recognized for excellence in park and recreation management across the nation. For more information about the Chicago Park District's more than 8,800 acres of parkland, more than 600 parks, 26 miles of lakefront, 11 museums, two world-class conservatories, 16 historic lagoons, nearly 50 nature areas, thousands of special events, sports and entertaining programs, please visit www.chicagoparkdistrict.com or contact the Chicago Park District at 312/742.PLAY. Follow us @ChicagoParks & @ChicagoParkDistrict on social media. Want to share your talent? Volunteer in the parks by calling, 312/742.PLAY.