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updated: 6/6/2012 11:43 AM

St. Charles knows how to throw an anniversary party for Pride of the Fox RiverFest

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  • The Wonder Lake Water Ski Show Team performs during the Pride of the Fox RiverFest in St. Charles.

       The Wonder Lake Water Ski Show Team performs during the Pride of the Fox RiverFest in St. Charles.
    BRIAN HILL | Staff Photographer, 2010

  • Siessourby Soma, 17, of Evanston grabs the flag for her team, the World Dragons, to win the first of two heats during dragon boat races during the Pride of the Fox RiverFest in St. Charles last year.

       Siessourby Soma, 17, of Evanston grabs the flag for her team, the World Dragons, to win the first of two heats during dragon boat races during the Pride of the Fox RiverFest in St. Charles last year.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer, 2011

  • Emily Schwendner, left and Stephani Baker, both 16 and from St. Charles enjoy the carnival at Pride of the Fox RiverFest in St. Charles.

       Emily Schwendner, left and Stephani Baker, both 16 and from St. Charles enjoy the carnival at Pride of the Fox RiverFest in St. Charles.
    BRIAN HILL | Staff Photographer, 2010

  • Rowan Sather, 2, of St. Charles has a great time playing in the "Welcome to St. Charles Beach" sand box at last year's Pride of the Fox RiverFest. Rowan was accompanied by his mother Stephanie Sather and 4-year-old big brother Evan Sather. The family attends the festival every year.

      Rowan Sather, 2, of St. Charles has a great time playing in the "Welcome to St. Charles Beach" sand box at last year's Pride of the Fox RiverFest. Rowan was accompanied by his mother Stephanie Sather and 4-year-old big brother Evan Sather. The family attends the festival every year.
    Daily Herald Archives, 2011

  • Buck Hoover of Woodstock, center, of The Sand Sculpture Company assists experienced sculptor Charlie Beaulieu of Woodstock, right, as they construct a work for last year's Pride of the Fox RiverFest festival. The company travels all around the world creating custom sand sculptures and sand castles for all types of events.

      Buck Hoover of Woodstock, center, of The Sand Sculpture Company assists experienced sculptor Charlie Beaulieu of Woodstock, right, as they construct a work for last year's Pride of the Fox RiverFest festival. The company travels all around the world creating custom sand sculptures and sand castles for all types of events.
    Daily Herald Archives, 2011

  • The Riverview Counseling LTD of St. Charles' dragon boat digs in to the Fox River during the dragon boat races at Pottawatomie Park in St. Charles last year. The annual event is a part of the Pride of the Fox RiverFest which runs all weekend.

       The Riverview Counseling LTD of St. Charles' dragon boat digs in to the Fox River during the dragon boat races at Pottawatomie Park in St. Charles last year. The annual event is a part of the Pride of the Fox RiverFest which runs all weekend.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer, 2011

 
By Hailey Czarnecki
hczarnecki@dailyherald.com

This year's Pride of the Fox RiverFest motto, "Something for everyone," will hold true throughout the fun-packed weekend. From Friday to Sunday, June 8-11, organizers hope the event will exceed expectations for its 30-year celebration. The annual RiverFest will open nine venues to provide maximum excitement and bring the community together to honor St. Charles.

"It is honestly a celebration about what makes St. Charles special," festival coordinator Julie Farris said. She sees the weekend as a gift to St. Charles, a thank you.

"It's about bringing it to the community and celebrating our residents."

Different forms of entertainment are provided at each RiverFest, and this 30th birthday party is no exception.

"We have lots of special things going on this year," Farris said. Special entertainment groups, new competitions and even a raffle will be squeezed into the fun-packed weekend.

DockDogs, a premier canine water competition, will allow teams to compete with their dogs in four events. A different contest will be played each day at the Plaza Green venue. The fourth competition, Iron Dog, will combine the previous days' scores to name a top winner.

An electric guitar, made by Greg Farris, an Illinois guitar making master, will be raffled off. The guitar is a custom-made commemorative instrument that will showcase the logo of the RiverFest on the back of it. The winner will be pulled at 6 p.m. Sunday on the Harris Bank main stage.

Many more events will be held at the other venues. Each one has a special feel to make the event as a whole unforgettable. The creation of a 40-pound sand statue will be on display at the Municipal Center. Wonder Lake Water Ski Show Team will perform at Pottawatomie Park. An arts and crafts fair will be open all weekend along the Riverwalk. The 3rd Street venue will have a car show. The carnival will be set up between 2nd and 4th streets and State and Cedar streets.

Last year, the fest joined with the Kane County S.W.A.T. team and watched it perform a live attack scene. And this year the crew is back to demonstrate a water rescue. The team will save hostages in the water at 5 p.m. Friday at the Plaza Green venue. The bad guys and hostages will be played by volunteers.

"If you come down for anything -- come down for that one!" Farris said about this performance.

A movie under the stars is a new event this year. At Lincoln Park, the movie "How to Train Your Dragon" will be shown at dusk on Friday, Farris said. It's an event for the families to enjoy at night, she said.

Of course, no RiverFest would be complete without the Dragon Boat race. A race that involves teamwork, communications and competitive drive. This event has always been a signature contest of the festival. It is one of two sanctioned Dragon Boat races in the state by the American Dragon Boat Association. It will give more than 20 teams of 20 people the opportunity to feel the power of the majestic boats, Farris said.

The Awakening the Dragon Ceremony will be at 8 a.m. Saturday, and the races will be from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Pottawatomie Park.

The Kansas City barbecue cook-off will feature events throughout the weekend. Teams of all ages and talents will get the chance to show off their barbecuing skills in an variety of competitions. One will give everyone the chance to taste the competitors' pulled pork in the People's Choice contest.

"Boy! That's not only going to smell good, it will taste good!" said volunteer coordinator Darlene Riebe. Riebe has been volunteering for more than 20 years and said she is looking forward to tasting the food, and it might just become her favorite RiverFest event.

Another featured contest will be the Voice of St. Charles. This will give residents the chance to stand in front of a crowd and sing their hearts out, Farris said. There will be five finalists for each of the three age groups to compete at noon Sunday on the main stage.

Musical performances will provide entertainment day and night at the fest. The winner of 2011 St. Charles Battle of the Bands contest, Printer's Row, will start the weekend at 6 p.m. on Friday at the Main stage. The fest will conclude with Billy Croft and the 5 Alarm at 4 p.m. and Dirty Dan's Cool Rockin' Daddies at 6 p.m. Sunday. Students of all ages are invited to compete in the Battle of the Bands contest at noon Saturday. The winning group will open the Harris Bank Main Stage during RiverFest 2013.

This fest is always supported by the enormous amount of help from the residents.

"We could never do without our volunteers," Farris said. The more people the better, especially with the added events this year, she said.

More than 100 people have signed up to work at this festival. Many volunteers help year after year and work hour by hour, Riebe said.

"We have a great community ... it's a great way to get involved."

Last year, residents went to the volunteer table and asked how they could help, she said. Interested residents are encouraged to sign up to volunteer on the webpage.

Each fest in St. Charles is a piece of the town's spirit, Farris said. Each one has a different purpose.

"This is the festival for the locals ... we're all about celebrating the community."

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