As the oldest service organization in DuPage County, the 90-year-old Glen Ellyn Lions Club long has been involved in charity work for those with visual and hearing disabilities.
It's fitting, then, that one of the club's biggest fundraisers -- the Glen Ellyn Festival of the Arts -- is marketed as a celebration of sight and sound.
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If you goWhat: 44th annual Glen Ellyn Festival of the Arts
When: 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday Where: Lake Ellyn Park, 645 Lenox Road, Glen Ellyn
Cost: Free Info: www.glenellynlions.org
The 44th annual event, which has been organized and managed by the Lions since 2004, is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday at Lake Ellyn Park at Lenox Road and Linden Avenue. It features more than 70 juried artists from across the country and an eclectic lineup of 11 musical artists over the course of the two-day event.
"The park setting is perfect," said Randy Poole, a Lions club member and event co-chairman. "With the music -- and the last few years we've had a beer and wine garden -- (visitors) can sit back, look at the art, and enjoy."
Some of the visual art on display and for sale will include jewelry, paintings in acrylic and oil, woodworking, pottery and glass. Roughly half the exhibitors are returning from last year and there are many returning artists from previous years, Poole said.
A panel of professional artists will act as judges for the art contest, in which a total of $1,500 in cash prizes will be offered for the best of show, awards of excellence and awards of merit categories.
There's also a wide range of musical performers that will take the bandstand over the course of the two days, from bagpiper Steve Langford at 10 a.m. Saturday, to the Anima Singers youth chorus at 1 p.m. Sunday.
A "barefoot dance on the lawn" is scheduled from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday with reggae group On Your Marx.
Admission to the event is free, but funds benefiting the club's charity work are generated from artist booth fees and a raffle that offers prizes donated by local businesses, Poole said.
One of the club's major annual endeavors is providing vision screenings for students at local elementary schools, and paying for lenses for children who need them, Poole said. The club spends about $5,000 a year on vision exams and glasses.
Some of the groups that benefit from the club's fundraising activities include the Spectrios Institute for Low Vision in Wheaton, Glen Ellyn Youth and Family Counseling Services, Glen Ellyn Food Pantry, DuPage Center for Independent Living, and Western DuPage Special Recreation Association.
The festival runs 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Remote parking with a shuttle bus transport is available at Ackerman Park or the Metra station.