Bicentennial Bash: Counting down to Illinois' 200th birthday in Naperville

NAPERVILLE, Ill. (WLS) -- For the next few weeks, we are counting down to the 200th birthday of Illinois.

We are doing that by celebrating some of the places that make our state special.

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For the next few weeks, we are counting down to the 200th birthday of Illinois.

Friday, ABC7 is celebrating Naperville with help from the Empire Burger Bar, Deetta's Bakery, the Naper Settlement, the Naperville Central High School cheer squad, an Abraham Lincoln impersonator and Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico.

Naperville was founded in 1831. One of the most interesting historical parts of Naperville is the Naper Settlement.

Historic homes and a living history have been established to preserve and give a sense of identity to what the pioneer and farming community was all about.

The point of the historic buildings is to preserve a lasting legacy for those who looked west at a new horizon and a new American future.

"This is how others have done it. How will you do it? And so that's how these buildings really connect from the past to the present in terms of using stories as teaching tools," said executive director Rena Tamayo-Calabrese. "The history is not about what happened. The history is about how people got you where you are today. Because we all stand on the shoulders of many. And so when we are able to see our horizons much farther than say our grandparents did it's because we are up on their shoulders."

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