- Kaneland preschool screening Dec. 13
- Blessing of the Manger tradition carries on at Conley Corner
- ‘Drew’ grit: Senior signal-caller earns pinnacle All-State honor
- Elburn Leos to present Breakfast with Santa Dec. 1
- Between Friends Food Pantry sponsors toy, book drive
- Old-fashioned Christmas celebration in Kaneville
Gimme a ‘B’ … plus
MP Fun Fest representative grades festival’s latest outing
MAPLE PARK—Maple Park Fun Fest 2013 had the parade, live bands and entertainment to qualify as a success. But how did the Fun Fest Committee feel about this year’s outing?
Roger Kahl, who has served as a Fun Fest Committee representative since the festival’s 1999 debut, gave the recent fest a grade.
“I’d give it probably a B-plus,” Kahl said. “Saturday night was a little bit slow. But Friday night, the (Kaneland High School) football games got rained out and they rescheduled the football games. Corn Fest—they moved that Corn Fest in DeKalb up a weekend to our weekend, as well. So, that might’ve had a little affect on it.”
According to Brittany Altepeter, Fun Fest Committee representative, she estimated that there were 1,000 or so people who attended the festival.
Kahl noted factors like the hot weather and the economy for the low turnout.
“A lot of people aren’t working and they’re not going to come out and spend money if they don’t have to,” Kahl said.
The Fun Fest Committee was satisfied with the Sunday turnout because country band Back Country Roads proved to be a crowd-drawing hit.
“They always bring a big crowd, and we’re very happy with the crowd all day Sunday,” Kahl said.
Shooter Whiskey, Chemically Imbalanced and Billy Croft & The 5 Alarm also performed on the main stage at Fun Fest bands, and played music ranging from southern rock to rock to country rock.
Festival attendees could check out 39 arts and craft vendors. And then there was the Maple Park Fun Fest Parade.
Miss Illinois Brittany Smith sat high on a red Corvette. She wore her Miss Illinois sash across her turquoise dress along with a wide grin and sparkly crown as she waved to attendees.
Kaneland High School and Harter Middle School marching bands marched and played in the street.
Youths smiled and peddled their bikes during the Kid’s Bike Parade. Bikes showed off decorations like red, white and blue stars or patriotic pinwheels and streamers.
More wheels rolled in town with toilet bowls on top during the Toilet Bowl Races. One team worked a Duck Dynasty theme that translated to and lived up to the name “Dump Dynasty.” The three boys on the team wore long beards and mustaches in black, brown and gray.
“They made it look like really swampy,” Altepeter said.
Meanwhile, people could munch on pizza slices, cheeseburgers, brats, pork chops or powdered funnel cakes, all provided by Fun Fest vendors. Attendees could also relax and take free horse-drawn wagon rides downtown.
The Fun Fest Fireworks Show began just minutes before a light rainfall on Sunday evening. The rain couldn’t keep the fireworks spectacle down, however.
“The last shell of the (fireworks) show was three 6-inch shells actually,” Kahl said. “It looked like a disco ball up in the air twinkling when they were up. Three of them went off at the same time and they filled the sky with the colors and the twinkles from the strobe on it.”
Fun Fest Committee representative Melissa Brady called this grand finale of red and green fireworks amazing.
“Just afterwards, the sound was gone but there was still the color bursts still illuminating the sky,” Brady said. “I’ve never really seen anything like it. It was almost like a delay. And it was awesome.”