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updated: 3/1/2011 5:12 PM

Winfield Chamber celebrates during Good Old Days

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  • Good Old Days in Winfield opens today and runs through Sunday. A bags tournament, which drew the attention of Miss Illinois 2009 Ashley Bord last year, begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Lions Club beer garden.

      Good Old Days in Winfield opens today and runs through Sunday. A bags tournament, which drew the attention of Miss Illinois 2009 Ashley Bord last year, begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Lions Club beer garden.
    Tanit Jarusan | Staff Photographer, 2009

 
 

The Winfield Chamber of Commerce has long played host to the party during Good Old Days.

This year, the party is being held in the chamber's honor.

To mark the 35th anniversary of the chamber, Good Old Days organizers have adopted a "Drive Back to '75" theme and have booked a longer list of musical entertainment for the annual farewell to summer.

The four-day festival starts today and continues through Sunday, Sept. 12, in Winfield's town center.

The Lions Club will kick things off when its beer tent opens at 5 p.m. today near Beecher Avenue and Church Street. Perfect Strangers will be the first of several musical acts slated to perform throughout the weekend at that location. Buzz Kilman and the All Bubba Blues Band is scheduled to play at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

But the beer garden isn't the only spot that will be alive with music.

Rich Bysina, executive director of the Winfield Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber has booked Elvis impersonator Michael St. Angel to recreate The King's 1975 stage act during a performance at 10:15 p.m. Saturday. That meant bringing a brand new stage to the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church parking lot along Liberty Street.

The Liberty Street stage opens Friday night and will include performances by several acts over the weekend. It also will be the site for Good Old Days' first Battle of the Bands contest at noon Saturday and Winfield's Got Talent at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

When it comes to food, a variety of treats will be offered at the food court, which opens at 4 p.m. Friday along Church Street. This year, the Buffalo Wild Wings in Warrenville is the newest addition to the food court lineup.

"I am sure whoever walks through there is going to find something they or their kids will like," Bysina said.

Also on Friday night, the final Cruzin Winfield of the year is set for 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. along Jewell Road near Winfield Road.

While there won't be any carnival rides this year, the Liberty Street parking lot will be filled with different types of family entertainment and activities.

The armchair quarterback contest will challenge sitting participants to throw a football through an empty television screen. And women can test their skills during Saturday's shoe-kicking contest.

A festival favorite is the park district's duck race, planned for Sunday morning on the DuPage River near the Beecher Avenue bridge.

Hundreds of yellow plastic ducks will be dumped into the river to slowly float toward the finish line. Numbered ducks pulled from the water will earn prizes for the people who sponsored them.

Finally, the staple of the festival - the parade - will start at 1:15 p.m. Sunday at Sunnyside Avenue.

Phil Salerno, Bill Brach and Fritz Karwoski - three of the six organizing directors of the chamber - will be the parade grand marshals. "We owe them our gratitude for going through whatever it took 35 years ago to get a chamber of commerce started," Bysina said.

About 50 parade entries will travel west from Sunnyside to Winfield Road and then north to Beecher. The procession will include firetrucks, floats and 1970s-themed entries.

Most important for die-hard Bears fans, they don't have to worry about missing too much of Sunday's game.

"Even the people who are in the parade are going to be done with it around 2 p.m." Bysina said. "There's still pretty much the whole second half of the game to see."