St. Charles' Hotel Baker Commemorates 90th Anniversary With June 2 Gala, Fireworks

St. Charles’ Hotel Baker Commemorates 90th Anniversary With June 2 Gala, Fireworks

A Derby themed gala is planned for June 2, 2018, to commemorate Hotel Baker’s 90th anniversary. The invitation-only event is both a celebration of this important milestone as well a tribute to the original owner Col. Edward Baker, who opened the hotel doors on June 2, 1928.

Joe and Rowena Salas, the current owners of Hotel Baker, have chosen the Derby theme as a tribute to Colonel Baker, who had a passion for horses, especially his beloved horse Greyhound. While event dress is cocktail attire, guests are encouraged to wear hats or fascinators as a way to participate in the theme.

Guests will be treated to music by The Champagne Kings, the Tom Linsk Band and pianist Johnny Burnett, along with Derby-inspired culinary creations from the culinary team, led by Executive Chef Kieth Willis.

In partnership with the St. Charles History Museum, there will be a mini pop-up exhibit paying tribute to the hotel’s history, to Colonel Baker, and to his beloved Greyhound. Exhibit items will include some of Colonel Baker’s personal belongings, as well as other items that have historical significance for the Baker family and the hotel.

Guests will also enjoy a couple of additional surprises that the Salases plan to announce closer to the event.

According to Rowena Salas, this event has been a community collaboration in many ways, with many local businesses and organizations coming together to help make this celebration extra special. Hotel Baker is at the center of downtown St. Charles, and is a significant landmark for visitors and locals alike.

The Salases appreciate the special role the hotel has played in the community and want this event to honor that significance as well as the vision that Colonel Baker had so long ago.

Salas said of the past 15 years, “It has really been a wonderful journey for our family. Never in our wildest dreams could we have imagined how it has changed our lives. We love the hotel. A lot of love and passion go into keeping the hotel and Colonel Baker’s vision alive.”

Another favorite saying of Baker regarding the hotel is, “It’s my pride and joy.” Salas said that, for her family, “It’s been our pride and joy to keep it alive.”

Short Fireworks Display Planned During Hotel Baker Gala

A short fireworks display is planned as a part of the Hotel Baker 90th Anniversary Gala taking place on June 2, 2018.

The 10-minute display will go off at about 9:30 p.m., and will be visible from the Main Street Bridge and surrounding area, weather permitting. Hotel owners Joe and Rowena Salas chose to announce the surprise early so that the community can come out and enjoy the fireworks if they wish.

The invitation-only, Derby themed Gala is both a celebration of the Hotel Baker’s anniversary and a tribute to the original owner, Col. Edward Baker. His love of horses inspired the theme.

Attendees will be treated to a special musical performance by ABC’s American Idol Season 1 contestant Trevor Holmes, in addition to the musical lineup previously announced. This, along with food and décor to match the theme, and a mini pop-up museum featuring both Hotel Baker and Colonel Baker history and memorabilia, will round out the evening.

The public should be aware that there will be a lane closure traveling west from the east side of the Main Street Bridge up to 2nd Street. This will take place from 6:45 p.m. until 8 p.m., so travelers should plan extra time to get through downtown during that time.

The Salases are appreciative of the support and collaboration they have received from the City of St. Charles, community organizations and local businesses in putting this event together. “Like the hotel itself, this celebration truly is a labor of love,” said Rowena Salas.

For more information on Hotel Baker, visit

SOURCE: St. Charles Visitors Bureau news release

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About Hotel Baker

Hotel Baker is situated on the Fox River in the heart of downtown St. Charles, IL. It offers the epitome in all things luxurious – 53 elegant guest rooms and suites, state of the art amenities, meeting and banquet rooms, exceptional dining and lounge venues, and a scenic riverside setting that’s second to none. For more information about Hotel Baker, visit or call 630-584-2100.