An event spanning 69 years once again makes its way to Lake Zurich with the return of Alpine Fest.
Organized by Lake Zurich's Lions Club, the festival begins at 6 p.m. Friday, July 22, and runs through Sunday, July 24. It is expected to have more than 10,000 attendees, organizers said.
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Admission is free and activities include carnival rides, family events, food and other games, all leading up to the single largest parade in Lake County, the Alpine Fest Parade.
"This is our 69th year doing this event in celebration of the war ending," said Alpine coordinator and Lions Club member Footloose Frank. "All the proceeds that we use go back into the community."
Alpine Fest takes place at Lion Fred Blau Park, 81 East Main St.
Magicians and dance ensembles are among the variety of entertainment that ranges from Mad Science Fire and Ice Show and the Sabala Dance Group to Magic Dave, magician extraordinaire, and Chuck, field ventriloquist.
Bands scheduled to play include Kevin Purcell and The Night Burners from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. Friday, Modern Day Romeos 9:30 to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, and Deja Vu 2:45 to 4:45 p.m. Sunday, followed by Out of Storage from 5:45 to 9 p.m.
The parade is set for 11:30 a.m. Sunday and begins at the corner of Ela and Route 22. It marches along Main Street and ends at Lake Zurich High School, 300 Church St. It will feature community groups and several organizations providing entertainment, such as bagpipe performers, marching bands and Shriners, among others.
The Lake Zurich High School band will also perform, all marching behind a giant American flag.
Created in the summer of 1942 by a group of volunteer organizations, the festival is held yearly and honors the United States victories during World War II.
Most important, however, is the community spirit and involvement the event garners.
"It brings everybody back to the community once again," said Lions Club Treasurer Jeff Sedlack. "Different classes have been holding high school reunions in conjunction with the fest. We've had people come from weddings because they met at the fest. It's a reunion of sorts for people."