While Memorial Day is traditionally the unofficial start of summer, Riverside and Brookfield kicked the season off early last weekend and were on magnificent display at special events that drew hundreds of visitors.

North Riverside will get its chance to show off its neighborhoods Monday during its second annual Memorial Day 5K race.

There were two events in Brookfield last Saturday, first the village and police department teamed up to present Bike Brookfield, which drew more than 400 participants, who pedaled through commercial and residential areas of the village, giving the village a chance to amplify its branding as a bike-friendly, family community. 

The Chamber of Commerce followed up that night with its annual street dance on Broadway Avenue.

And Riverside marked the beginning of summer with its arts weekend, RAW, in an idyllic setting in Guthrie Park, framed by historic buildings and flooded by residents and out-of-town visitors.

All in all, you’d have to say that the villages did one heck of a job showing off all of their best traits as beautiful, welcoming communities. Communities don’t get many chances to do that, so when it all falls together, as it did last weekend, it’s a lot of fun.