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posted: 8/13/2013 3:18 PM

Small town and proud of it: Elburn Days

Mud volleyball? Livestock judging? This isn't your average festival

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  • Christine Huneke and her daughter Mikayla, 20 months, of Elburn, take a ride on the "Teacups" at Elburn Days.

       Christine Huneke and her daughter Mikayla, 20 months, of Elburn, take a ride on the "Teacups" at Elburn Days.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer, 2011

  • Dancers from M&M Dance Academy of Elburn makes their way down the parad route during the opening of last year's Elburn Days.

       Dancers from M&M Dance Academy of Elburn makes their way down the parad route during the opening of last year's Elburn Days.
    BRIAN HILL | Staff Photographer, 2012

  • Megan Fidler, 12, of Sycamore leads her steer, Mason, in the lightweight category of the livestock judging at last year's Elburn Days. Fidler is a member of the Burlington Ag 4-H group.

       Megan Fidler, 12, of Sycamore leads her steer, Mason, in the lightweight category of the livestock judging at last year's Elburn Days. Fidler is a member of the Burlington Ag 4-H group.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer, 2012

  • Mud volleyball player Eric Almburg of team "Supermen" celebrates a point during his teams win over the "Mud Thumpers" at Elburn Days at Lions Park.

       Mud volleyball player Eric Almburg of team "Supermen" celebrates a point during his teams win over the "Mud Thumpers" at Elburn Days at Lions Park.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer, 2011

 
By Jennifer Tranmer
jtranmer@dailyherald.com

As volunteers raise tents in Elburn Lions Park, kids stop to watch the action.

"There is a certain excitement that builds in small towns," said Judi Day of Elburn, entertainment chairwoman for Elburn Days.

The 84th annual festival is back this year, running Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 15-18. The festival is the club's largest fundraiser each year, so organizers work to appeal to everyone.

"The fact that the money goes into charities and goes back into the community is important," said Chris Halsey of Sugar Grove, a Lions Club board member.

The first part of the festival, from noon to 8 p.m. Thursday, features a sidewalk sale and flea market in downtown Elburn. Between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Friday, there will be a rummage and bake sale at St. Gall Church at 120 W. Shannon St.

But the fun doesn't officially kick off until the parade arrives. Starting at 6 p.m. Friday, at Reader Street, bands, fire engines, floats and more will promenade south along Main Street.

This year's parade theme is "Lions for Literacy in a World of Service" to promote the club's Reading Action Program that has provided over 300 books to children with the help of local libraries.

Food, carnival rides, a beer garden, a craft show and more await visitors when they arrive at the park after the parade.

Carnival ride wristlets for $17 are available 6 to 9 p.m. Friday and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Head to the Main Pavilion for bingo from 8 to 10 p.m. Friday, and 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Feeling active? Grab your running shoes for this year's 5k or the 1-Mile Fun Run at 8 a.m. Saturday. Meet at the South Pavilion for early registration starting at 7 a.m.

Organizers added a second beer garden for spectators to enjoy events like the tractor pulls at 11 a.m. Saturday, and the Mud Volleyball Tournament 11:30 a.m. Sunday, said Bill Smar, the publicity coordinator for the festival.

At 8 a.m. Saturday, the rural side of Kane County will be highlighted with 4-H livestock judging.

Local acts and interactive events highlight the Community Stage, including an interactive dance session with Elburn's M&M Dance Studio and the popular 84-person ice cream eating contest, said Day.

And the Lions Park Main Stage will host well-known regional acts Day has scouted over the last year.

The Main Stage features ARRA at 7 p.m. Friday night. Saturday's "Hometown Showdown" features Rock of Age at 1 p.m., Red Woody at 4 p.m. and Back Country Roads at 7:30 p.m. Patchwork and 7th heaven will perform at 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Various present and past Elburn Idol winners and contestants open for each act.

She said each band is not only popular, but also humble.

"They could play anywhere else for a larger fee, but they know what we're doing, so they work with us," she said.

For details, visit elburnlions.com.

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