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updated: 8/8/2012 2:25 PM

Gurnee Days ready to go for its 40th year

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  • Spectators fill in along Old Grand Avenue to watch the Gurnee Days parade. Retired educators Johanna and James Blockinger will be the parade's grand marshals when it steps off at noon Sunday.

       Spectators fill in along Old Grand Avenue to watch the Gurnee Days parade. Retired educators Johanna and James Blockinger will be the parade's grand marshals when it steps off at noon Sunday.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer 200

  • Gurnee Days Bike Rodeo last year at Woodland Middle School.

       Gurnee Days Bike Rodeo last year at Woodland Middle School.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer, 2011

  • Gurnee Days includes rides in Viking Park.

       Gurnee Days includes rides in Viking Park.
    GEORGE LECLAIRE | Staff Photographer, 2010

 
 

Gurnee Days will be in full swing for its 40th consecutive year starting Friday, Aug. 10.

Music, carnival rides, food, fireworks and a parade will be part of the action. This year's theme is "Dancing in the Streets."

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James and Johanna Blockinger, both retired educators, are this year's Gurnee Days honorees. Not only will they be in the spotlight for a testimonial dinner Thursday, Aug. 9, but they'll also serve as Gurnee Days parade marshals to cap the event.

Most of the activities will be in and around Viking Park on Old Grand Avenue, in what's known as Gurnee's Village Center. The fun will begin at 8 a.m. Friday with the weekly farmers market at Esper Petersen Park on Old Grand Avenue.

Friday highlights at Viking Park include a story time for children at 10 a.m., amusement rides from 5 to 10:30 p.m., and a dog plastic disc championship at 6 p.m. New for opening day are a beer garden and bands at the Viking Park band shell starting at 7 p.m.

It'll be particularly busy on Saturday at Viking Park. Highlights include a baby contest at 11 a.m., amusement rides from 1 to 11 p.m., the Gurnee Breakfast Exchange Club Rib Fest from 3 to 11 p.m. and fireworks at 9:30 p.m.

Sunday will feature a pancake breakfast at Viking Park from 8 a.m. to noon and various exhibits, food and games from 11 a.m. until the festival closes at 5 p.m.

At noon Sunday, the Gurnee Days parade will roll down Old Grand Avenue, with the Blockingers leading the way as grand marshals.

Gurnee Days Corp., a nonprofit group, has been in charge of the event since it began in 1983.

For a complete calendar of events, check gurneedays.com.

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