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First Division Museum and Tank Park Grand Reopening

August 26, 2017, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

The First Division Museum at Cantigny Park will reopen to the public on Saturday, August 26, following an extensive 10-month renovation project. Doors open after a traditional military ceremony honoring the 100-year history of the 1st Infantry Division and museum ribbon cutting at 11 am.

Highlights of the thoroughly updated military museum include “Duty First,” an all-new gallery focusing on the more recent history of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division. The gallery’s new media and interactive exhibits provide a hands-on experience from a soldier’s perspective that are sure to leave a lasting impression on visitors.

The museum’s reopening coincides with the 100th anniversary of the famed military unit known as the “Big Red One.” A second major gallery, “First in War,” tells the story of the Division from its creation in 1917 through the Vietnam era.

The museum will stay open until 8 pm for the Grand Reopening to accommodate as many visitors as possible. (Please note that the interactive exhibits are likely to have long wait times; overall museum capacity is limited.)

Outside the museum, a mix of free entertainment and attractions is planned:

Historic Army Vehicles
The First Division Museum will display and interpret its vintage fleet. The museum’s 11 tanks also will reopen on August 26, each having been cleaned and painted with historically accurate markings.

Zoo to You
Learn about the animals our soldiers encounter during their missions around the world. Zoo to You will introduce some unique creatures that became adorable mascots or were avoided whenever possible. Shows at 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, 3:30 and 4:30 pm.

Obstacle Course & Climbing Wall
Navigate the First Division Museum’s 85-foot inflatable boot camp obstacle course and take on a 20-foot vertical challenge. Open 10 am to 8 pm on the Parade Field.

Fotio Photo Booth
Enjoy this vintage-style “photo booth without the booth.” Pictures are uploaded to an online gallery for social media use immediately after the event! Army-themed props will be available to help you stage the perfect photo. Open 11:30 am to 5 pm, at the Doughboy statue outside the Visitors Center.

Chicago Brass Band
Formed in 2002, this 30-piece brass and percussion ensemble will perform before and during the opening ceremony on the new plaza in front of the First Division Museum.

Live Music on the Parade Field
11:15 am Dave Eno
1:00 pm Joe Kalish
2:45 pm Dave Eno
4:30 pm Joe Kalish
6:30 pm Andrew Salgado

Cantigny Pop-Up Shop
New military items and various books will be for sale in the museum lobby from 11 am to 8 pm. The Cantigny Shop in the Visitors Center will offer its full collection of merchandise, including custom dog tags, from 9 am to 5:30 pm.

A variety of food trucks and a beer tent will be on site. In the Cantigny Visitors Center, Le Jardin serves lunch from 11 am to 3 pm, and Bertie’s Café hours are 9 am to 4:30 pm.

Hours and Fees
Regular hours for the First Division Museum are 10 am to 5 pm, Tuesday through Sunday. In November and December, the museum closes at 4 pm.

Admission to the museum is free with paid parking. Cantigny’s regular daily parking fee is $5 per car. On Saturdays and Sundays, May through September, parking is $10. The $10 rate also applies on Labor Day. Parking is free on the first Wednesday of every month.

More information, including a calendar of upcoming events, is available online at


August 26, 2017
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Event Tags:


Cantigny Park
1S151 Winfield Road
Wheaton, IL 60189 United States
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(630) 668-5161
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