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updated: 6/21/2014 4:49 PM

Fruit shares starring role at Long Grove strawberry fest

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  • Vanessa Miecznikowski, 5, of Long Grove receives a bag of strawberries that she and her brother, Max, 3, selected at the Frank Farms Fresh Produce table during the Long Grove Strawberry Festival Saturday.

       Vanessa Miecznikowski, 5, of Long Grove receives a bag of strawberries that she and her brother, Max, 3, selected at the Frank Farms Fresh Produce table during the Long Grove Strawberry Festival Saturday.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Patrons fill the street during the Long Grove Strawberry Festival Saturday.

       Patrons fill the street during the Long Grove Strawberry Festival Saturday.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Emily Lohmann, 5, of Lake Forest indicates which pint of strawberries she likes while visiting the Frank Farms Fresh Produce table with her mom during the Long Grove Strawberry Festival Saturday.

       Emily Lohmann, 5, of Lake Forest indicates which pint of strawberries she likes while visiting the Frank Farms Fresh Produce table with her mom during the Long Grove Strawberry Festival Saturday.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Maria Lopez of Rolling Meadows greets her great-grand daughter, Layla Marie Cali, four months, of Buffalo Grove with a kiss as she is lifted from her stroller by her grand mother, Elsa Cali, also of Rolling Meadows during the Long Grove Strawberry Festival Saturday.

       Maria Lopez of Rolling Meadows greets her great-grand daughter, Layla Marie Cali, four months, of Buffalo Grove with a kiss as she is lifted from her stroller by her grand mother, Elsa Cali, also of Rolling Meadows during the Long Grove Strawberry Festival Saturday.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Jim Edwards of Itasca sips a strawberry lemonade during the Long Grove Strawberry Festival Saturday.

       Jim Edwards of Itasca sips a strawberry lemonade during the Long Grove Strawberry Festival Saturday.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Strawberries were being sold at the Frank Farms Fresh Produce tent during the Long Grove Strawberry Festival Saturday.

       Strawberries were being sold at the Frank Farms Fresh Produce tent during the Long Grove Strawberry Festival Saturday.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
 

While a certain fruit headlines the Long Grove Strawberry Festival, Shane Cobb had another reason for attending with his two daughters Saturday.

"There's a wide range of (music), so you can find any kind of band that are you are looking for," said Cobb, 49, of Kildeer.

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Cobb was on point about the music, because Long Grove Business and Community Partners Executive Director Sharon Fine said 43 bands were booked for the three-day strawberry bash ending Sunday.

Visitors to Saturday's edition found everything from folk music at a coffee house to regional party rock band Cover Gurl, with Amber Tripp on lead vocal and keyboard, on the Fountain Square main stage in downtown Long Grove.

Sunday's main stage finale includes the Long Grove Performing Arts Academy and 7th heaven, a regional heavyweight known for 1970s and '80s music.

"For some people, (music) is the background of the festival, so it certainly sets the tone," Fine said during a brief break in her festival organizing duties. "For others, they come in specifically for music. They'll come in here and we'll hand out schedules at the gates of all the bands."

As for the strawberries, they can be consumed in several different ways at the fest that celebrated its 30th year.

Straight-up strawberries will be sold through Sunday at a stand at Old McHenry and Robert Parker Coffin roads. Other delights include ravioli filled with fresh strawberries and ricotta at Enzo & Lucia's restaurant, strawberry scones, strawberry barbecue sauce, strawberry-flavored lemonade and strawberry doughnuts.

Then there are the chocolate-covered strawberries that were desired by Cobb and his daughters, McKenzie, 10, and Kendall, 8. The girls also planned to shop Saturday for headbands at Within Reach, which has children's gifts and clothing.

"I'm just looking to see what they sell the headbands for," Kendall said.

Jerry King, founder and owner of the First Impression window cleaning service in Long Grove, said longer Saturday hours and other tweaks improved this year's festival. The fest volunteer also spoke highly of the music.

"This is a mini music festival," King said. "Each of the three festivals in Long Grove feature such a variety of music, and most of it is local. These are musicians that know one another and work locally. And they love being here."

Twitter: @DHBobSusnjara

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