Dundee Township residents will have a new festival to add to their summer calendars this year.
The two-day Dundee Days Music Festival will debut in Max Freeman Memorial Park, along North Street in East Dundee, on May 31. Its coordinator, The Odd Fellows of Century Lodge 492 in Carpentersville, hopes it will eventually evolve into the popular Taste of Dundee that ended in the 1980s.
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"We're starting small this year," said Jeremy Soderstrom, one of its organizers. "We only have about four food vendors lined up, but we have about 10 bands scheduled to perform. After this year, we want to build on the number of restaurants."
The bands will play acoustic, rock, country rock and blues music. To enter the front gate, audience members will each pay a $5 donation that will cover expenses and go back to the lodge, where members will donate it to local charities during the year.
"In the past, we've donated money to the local FISH Food Pantry and to families whose homes have been damaged by fire," Soderstrom said. "We've always been active in the community. This is our way of having an event for the entire family and collecting money for charities."
The bands play from 5-11 p.m. Friday, May 31, and noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, June 1. On the second day, the group will host "Touch-a-Truck" from noon to 3 p.m. Children and adults will have a chance to sit in and touch a tractor trailer, fire truck, garbage truck and other public service vehicles.
"And we'll also have local organizations like the FISH pantry collecting donations, along with product vendors selling items," he said.
The Dundee Days Music Festivals will be the first festival in Max Freeman Park since the East Dundee Fire Protection District discontinued its annual carnival five years ago. Members of the local firefighters' association stopped hosting the festival because carnival ride companies refused to attend small festivals.
The only other annual festival in Dundee Township is Heritage Fest, hosted by West Dundee in September.
"This will be a nice event," Soderstrom said. "These are good-natured people who care about the community and want to give back something to the communities.
"The music will be louder than on other weekends, but it will be respectful. This is something we want to build on."
For more information about the Dundee Days Music Festival, call Soderstrom at (847) 791-0939 or visit www.centurylodge492il.org.