The Mundelein Community Days festival opens Wednesday, July 3, for five days of food, live music, carnival rides, contests and even a parade and fireworks.
The 38-year-old festival has grown from humble beginnings -- it originally started as a simple two-day event with picnics to highlight local restaurants -- into a much larger orchestration.
Assistant Village Administrator Mike Flynn said local restaurants are still important to the festival, but it has grown to include the community's Fourth of July celebration, local bands and a carnival.
"I think the music and food kind of make for a nice setting. It's local restaurants and we have a nice stage and seating area on the grass, and of course there's a beer tap, so it's homey," Flynn said.
The musical acts cover a diverse range of genres, from acoustic country music duos underneath the tent from noon to 3 p.m. on Thursday to Mariachi on the main stage from 3-5 p.m. on Saturday, July 6.
Mundelein Community Days Commission Chairman Alex Marx said the festival will have something for everyone regardless of age.
"You gotta take the whole package to enjoy the whole thing. To me the whole thing breeds an atmosphere that is enticing and entertaining … It's fun," Marx said.
Another popular feature of Community Days is the Miss Mundelein pageants, which have been presented for some 20 years. The pageants occur at 7:30 p.m. every night through Wednesday: Miss Mundelein took place on Monday, Junior Miss Mundelein will take place Tuesday and Little Miss Mundelein on Wednesday.
Other events of special note are the Fourth of July fireworks display at 9:30 p.m. Thursday, July 4, and the Community Days parade at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 7.
Festivities will commence on Wednesday at 5 p.m. in Mundelein on Seymour Street between Courtland and Division streets. Normal festival activities are free, but tickets must be bought for the carnival rides -- one to two tickets per attraction. For more information on pricing and a full schedule of the events, go to www.mundelein.org, or call (847) 949-3200.