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posted: 8/6/2013 3:04 PM

Pre-'Million' festivities to rock downtown Arlington Hts.

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  • All kinds of characters are at the 2012 Mane Event.

       All kinds of characters are at the 2012 Mane Event.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Downtown Arlington Heights during the 2012 Mane Event.

       Downtown Arlington Heights during the 2012 Mane Event.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Gabriel Arista assistant chef at Francesca's sautÚs shrimp at Taste of Arlington Heights in 2012.

       Gabriel Arista assistant chef at Francesca's sautÚs shrimp at Taste of Arlington Heights in 2012.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

 
 

Arlington Heights kicks off a week of celebration with the Mane Event on Friday, Aug. 9 and the Taste of Arlington Heights on Saturday, Aug. 10.

The food, music and activities for the whole family are a lead-in to Million Week at Arlington Park, which culminates its own week of highlights with the Arlington Million on Aug. 17.

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The Mane Event, from 5-11 p.m. on Friday, "is going to be a great afternoon with things for the whole family to go out and enjoy," said Jon Ridler, Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce executive director.

"It's a giant street fest. You get to not only enjoy some of the food and music in town, but also see the local businesses and support them."

The Mane Event will feature booths from more than 20 restaurants with sample-sized tastings available for purchase. A Business Expo, with more than 70 local vendors, will have raffles, giveaway, coupons and other ways for residents to get involved.

If it's food you are after, though, come back Saturday for the Taste of Arlington Heights. More than 30 restaurants will have booths set up with sample-sized tastings available for purchase.

Entrance to the Taste is free, but each restaurant will charge various prices for its food or drink items, said Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jon Ridler.

The Taste will be open from noon to 11 p.m., with a full day of music planned as well.

A highlight of the Taste will be the Top 10 finalists from this year's Suburban Chicago's Got Talent competition. All will perform, and the overall winner will be announced.

Later that night, 7th Heaven, a popular local rock band, will headline the stage at the Taste.

The festival will also feature kid-friendly activities, and both alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages will be served.

"People should get excited, it's just a great time to come out and enjoy food, music and hopefully some great weather," Ridler said,

It's also a chance for people to support local businesses and try new restaurants in town, he said.

Last year, police estimated that 10,000 people came to the Mane Event and 15,000 were at the Taste.

All main parking garages in downtown Arlington Heights will be open and street parking is available, but Ridler suggested carpooling or walking to the event if possible. Bikes will not be allowed in the fenced area but can be parked outside.

Mane Event

FRIDAY, AUG. 9

5-11 p.m. Fest open

5 p.m. Business Expo; Local businesses showcase what they have to offer.

6:30 p.m. A Thousand Julys, pop/R&B/dance cover band, Main Stage

8:30-10:30 p.m. Mike and Joe, modern rock cover band, Main Stage.

Taste of Arlington Heights

SATURDAY, AUG. 10

10 a.m. Color Blast 5K. Course has four designated "color zones" where runners are doused with brightly colored cornstarch, resulting in a tie-dyed finish line celebration. Register at www.colorblast5k.net/.

Noon-11 p.m. Fest open.

1 p.m. Top 10 Suburban Chicago's Got Talent finalists perform, Main Stage. After the performances, stay for the announcement of the SCGT winner, and the People's Choice winner.

6:30 p.m. Friction, rock & roll cover band, Main Stage

8:30 p.m. 7th Heaven, rock cover band, Main Stage.

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