History of the Morton Grove Days Commission
It’s not well documented when the Morton Grove Days Commission was first formed. However, its history goes back well more than 70 years!
The Committee initially was made up of members from civic and fraternal organization in the Village. It managed an annual carnival and parade with members manning booths, selling chances, working refreshment stands, participating in the parade, and working as the clean up committee. Carnival rides were provided by a company and overseen by the committee.
Proceeds from the events were donated to various projects and organizations. Money was raised for the purchase of 20 acres of land for Harrer Park in 1951. Proceeds from the commission’s activities included a donation to the Morton Grove Fire Department for the purchase of their first ambulance. Over the years, donations were given to the boy’s baseball program, the Police Department, Library, Garden Club, and senior citizen organizations. In 1973, the committee held its last carnival and disbanded in 1975 after sponsoring a circus. The remaining money in the treasury of $753 was donated to the Morton Grove Park District.
Residents missed the activities sponsored by the committee. In 1987 the committee started anew. It became the Morton Grove Days Commission and was an operating committee of the Morton Grove Park District. The commission broadened its activities by sponsoring the annual Independence Day parade and fireworks show. The commission also sponsored arts & crafts fairs, concerts, a pancake breakfast and “Santa Comes to Town”. In 1995, it sponsored the Village’s Centennial Fest Gala in Harrer Park. In later years, the events sponsored by the commission were the 4th of July Festival that included the carnival, beer garden, parade, fireworks, and in December “Santa Comes to Town”.
In 2010, the commission reorganized and partnered with the Village of Morton Grove relying on private donations and sponsors to operate the 4th of July Festivities—the carnival, entertainment pavilion and parade. During this time, the commission became a nonprofit organization.
As of 2012, the Morton Grove Days Commission has become an independent 501(C)(3) organization made up entirely of volunteers. The commission consists of 9 trustees and various committees to manage the 4th of July Festival. The committees rely on volunteers to work and private donations to fund the sponsored events.
In 2015, the Morton Grove Days commission will once again be sponsoring the July 4th fireworks show. The commission intends to continue the tradition of presenting the best fireworks show on the Northshore.
Very few communities can pride itself with such a long history of volunteers that are dedicated to bringing the community together!
The Mission of the Morton Grove Days Commission
To sponsor family oriented community events which will serve both a recreational and a fellowship purpose. Activities are intended to bring families and neighborhoods together participating in enjoyable experiences which will promote strong family, community and neighborhood bonds, as well as foster pride in the Village of Morton Grove.