Bloomingdale enjoys its 40th Septemberfest
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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.
"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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