An estimated 65,000 people attended the final day of the 73rd annual Mount Prospect Lions Club Festival on July 4 this year, where they were able to enjoy some old festival favorites and some new attractions.
The festival, which started June 30 and ended with a Fourth of July celebration, featured more than ten vendors, live music, carnival games and rides. For Lions Club president Rob Habel, some of the highlights of the five-day festival included great, sunny weather and an excellent fireworks display.
Local vendors served up some classic fair foods like funnel cake, barbecue and ice cream, but instead of washing it down the soda or beer, adults had another option this year: wine. For the first time, Vino 100 from Mount Prospect had a booth in the beer tent and it was well received, Habel said.
Also new to the festival was the carnival ride the Freak Out, which acts like a pendulum and spins while it swings, Habel said. The Lions Club also raffled off six major prizes, including a trip to Las Vegas valued at $2,000, a Bosch tool package and a 42-inch flat screen television.
While the club is still totaling revenue and cost, it expects that this year will bring record-breaking profits, Habel said. He attributed the success to fewer people leaving town for the holiday weekend.
"Because of the economy, a lot of people are not going on vacation, but they still want to have a good time," he said.
Habel added that attendance was also likely higher because some communities had to cancel their own fireworks due to lack of funding. Since the Mount Prospect festival is funded by the Lions Club and not the village, this was not an issue, he said.
High wind speeds on Thursday night, however, did cause problems for the opening night fireworks display. The show was canceled Thursday, but the extra fireworks were added to the Fourth of July display, resulting in an extra-long show, Habel said.
Habel said the many dedicated volunteers also made the event successful. He added that anyone looking to join the Mount Prospect Lions Club can find more information on the website, www.mtprospectlions.com.