Editorial: Celebrate summer’s twilight at Maple Park Fun Fest

We’ve used numerous editorials this summer to remind our readers that while summer in the Kaneland community begins in June, it reaches a different gear come late July with the kickoff of local festival season—the first of which is, of course, Sugar Grove’s beloved Corn Boil gala.

Festival season then pauses for a few weeks before ramping back up with Elburn Days and then Kaneville Fest, both of which offer plenty of entertainment and fun for all ages.

Last but not least is this weekend’s Maple Park Fun Fest—a festival that takes the summer out with a bang and provides the community with three days of activities (5k run/walk, vendors, street sales), a softball tournament (complete with customized hayrack seating just past the outfield wall), first-rate entertainment on the main stage and a spectacular fireworks display.

Sponsored by the Maple Park American Legion Post 312, the 2013 Maple Park Fun Fest will take place Labor Day Weekend, Saturday, Aug. 31, to Monday, Sept. 2. And this year’s event promises to be a great one.

If you are looking for some healthy competition, in addition to the Men’s Slo-Pitch Tournament, the Fun Fest weekend offers a “Romp in the Park” 5k Run/Walk, the second annual Bags Tournament, and the ever-popular Toilet Bowl Challenge. For the last nine years, residents have been dressing up toilet bowls and racing them down Main Street in Maple Park, making for one of Fun Fest’s most memorable moments. Cash prizes and bragging rights for “Most Original Team” will be awarded following the event.

Looking for a more low-key weekend? How about strolling around town enjoying the Craft and Vendor Show on Main and Pleasant streets, or indulging in the food and beer garden? Creative folk and fruit lovers alike will appreciate the first “Mel’n ball” watermelon decorating contest, sponsored by the Maple Park Lions Club. Residents can also kick back and enjoy the Fun Fest Parade on Main Street and entertainment on the main stage, including the “Just For Kix” dance group, the Knights of Columbus’ “Minute-To-Win-It” game show, and musical acts such as Chemically Imbalanced and Billy Croft and the 5 Alarm.

Children can burn off some energy at the zip line or on the inflatables by Jumpy Jumpers, or enjoy magic from Andrew Noyszewski of KIDZMAGIC. Kids can also decorate their bikes and wagons at the “decoration station” and show off their creativity by marching in the Bike and Wagon Parade.

Sunday festivities include the American Legion breakfast buffet and the Maple Park Car Show, sponsored by the Maple Park American Legion. The Frantic Fueler, a 250 mph front engine NITRO dragster, will be featured at the show. On the main stage Sunday will be musical acts Shooter Whiskey and Back Country Roads.

The Fun Fest fireworks show will take place on Sunday evening. Festivities will wind down on Monday—Labor Day—with the conclusion of the Slo-Pitch Softball Tournament.

Sure, this weekend will be summer 2013’s last gasp, but there isn’t a better way to celebrate Labor Day Weekend and the arrival of September than with Maple Park Fun Fest.

For more information or to view the Maple Park Fun Fest schedule, visit mapleparkfunfest.com.