Fittest loser
Article updated: 9/7/2013 7:55 PM

Bloomingdale enjoys its 40th Septemberfest

Paige Franzen, 3, of Chicago pumps her fist so the fire trucks will blow their horn Saturday during Bloomingdale’s Septemberfest at Old Town Park. The fest included a parade and booths with local food vendors and services.

Paige Franzen, 3, of Chicago pumps her fist so the fire trucks will blow their horn Saturday during Bloomingdale's Septemberfest at Old Town Park. The fest included a parade and booths with local food vendors and services.

 

Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

Bloomingdale sponsored its annual Septemberfest this weekend at Old Town Park. The festivities included a parade for all to enjoy and food from local vendors.

Bloomingdale sponsored its annual Septemberfest this weekend at Old Town Park. The festivities included a parade for all to enjoy and food from local vendors.

 

Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

Retired Bloomingdale firefighter Bill Wolff said he loves chairing Bloomingdale’s Septemberfest Commission, responsible for producing the 40th Septemberfest celebration through Sunday.

Retired Bloomingdale firefighter Bill Wolff said he loves chairing Bloomingdale's Septemberfest Commission, responsible for producing the 40th Septemberfest celebration through Sunday.

 

Dann Gire | Staff Photographer

Gina Haman of Carol Stream, left, spoons up some festival good stuff for Caitlyn Haman as Gloria Santaniello, owner of G’s Homemade Caramel Corn, watches at Bloomingdale’s 40th Septemberfest on Saturday.

Gina Haman of Carol Stream, left, spoons up some festival good stuff for Caitlyn Haman as Gloria Santaniello, owner of G's Homemade Caramel Corn, watches at Bloomingdale's 40th Septemberfest on Saturday.

 

Dann Gire | Staff Photographer

Bloomingdale Police Chief Frank Giammarese takes a soaking for charity at the 40th annual Septemberfest. For a donation, pitchers could toss baseballs to break water balloons over the chief’s head.

Bloomingdale Police Chief Frank Giammarese takes a soaking for charity at the 40th annual Septemberfest. For a donation, pitchers could toss baseballs to break water balloons over the chief's head.

 

Dann Gire | Staff Photographer

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Retired Bloomingdale firefighter Bill Wolff calls it "a labor of love."

Everyone else calls it Bloomingdale's Septemberfest, celebrating its 40th anniversary this weekend with an estimated 108 booths, 5,000 parade walkers, 65 cars in the auto show and great weather.

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"It's bigger than usual, and I gotta say I'm happy about that," Wolff said Saturday. "God gave us a wonderful day today. We can't complain."

Wolff has chaired the Septemberfest Commission for the last six years. He hasn't missed a single festival, except the canceled 2010 event (for budgetary reasons) that everyone missed.

With music from the main stage filling the humid air, Septemberfest felt more like Julyfest, but no one complained.

Fifteen-year Bloomingdale resident Mildred Novak, 72, was out and about at the fest with her daughter Linda, also of Bloomingdale.

"I come to this just to get out, get some exercise," Mildred said. "I really like the entertainment."

What did Linda enjoy most?

"I'm a tag-along," she said.

Bloomingdale resident Jennifer Kazan and her husband, John, grew up together in Des Plaines. They had 9-year-old twins, a 6-year-old and a 3-year-old in tow at the festival on Saturday.

"We've come here every year since we moved here," she said. He added, "And that's been eight years now."

Bloomingdale Police Chief Frank Giammarese offered people a chance to soak him, if they could hit a bull's-eye with a baseball and puncture a water balloon above his head. Money from ticket sales to soak the chief will go to charity.

John Krueger of the Bloomington Police Department said that one of the big safety concerns at Septemberfest isn't what you might expect; it's simply getting people across major highways.

"We've got two officers manning each of the three entrances," he said. "So far things are running smooth."

Wolff credited a lot of really good people with helping make the festival run well.

"Unlike a lot of communities, which tend to have a carnival atmosphere in their events, we have more of a street dancing thing going on, especially with our local group, Dance Explosion," he said

"Dancing and bands, a lot of local kids performing. We're looking to have people stick around until we close at 10 p.m..

The festival concludes Sunday with a 7 p.m. performance by the band Hi Fidelity. Go to villageofbloomingdale.org for schedules.

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