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Glancer Magazine

CELEBRATING 90 YEARS | Hotel Baker to Commemorate Anniversary with a Derby Themed Gala & Firewor

1930 Hotel Baker, St Charles


ST. CHARLES – 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 Colonel 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 including a short fireworks display at about 9:30 pm, 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.

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 fifteen 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.”

For more information on Hotel Baker, visit

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