Phase I of the magnificent 72 bell Millennium Carillon was dedicated in a spectacular Independence Day concert on June 29, 2000. Amid the roar of cannons and the musical strains of the Naperville Municipal Band and the Naperville Men's Glee Club and Festival Chorus, the bells sounded in the first public concert and was greeted by the applause of 15,000 in attendance at the historic event.
In the tradition of Centennial Beach and the Riverwalk, the Millennium Carillon is a gift from the people of our community for all future generations to enjoy, right up to the arrival of the third millennium.
Of six hundred carillons world wide, the Millennium Carillon is one of only four spanning a full six octaves. It is properly known as a Grand Carillon. The largest bell, dedicated as the Captain Joseph Naper Bell, or "Big Joe" as it has become known, weighs almost 6 tons.
The bronze bells of the Millennium Carillon were cast at the Royal Eijsbouts Bell Foundry in The Netherlands. The glass cabin visible at the 95 foot level houses the oak keyboard, called a clavier, and is situated between the two massive bell chambers. About half of the bells are also played daily at set times by a computerized system of strikers. Annual summer recitals on the Riverwalk, as well as other special events, will be ongoing events at the carillon.
The carillon earned Naperville the distinction of being designated a White House Millennium Community in 1999.