Organizers are hopeful that new food, different carnival rides, more vendors and two national bands will be a good combination for a successful Taste of Lombard.
The festival begins Tuesday, July 1, and runs through Saturday, July 5, in Madison Meadow Park.
If you goWhat: Taste of Lombard
When: 5 to 11 p.m. Tuesday, July 1, through Thursday, July 3; noon to 11 p.m. Friday, July 4, and Saturday, July 5; Fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m. on July 4
Where: Madison Meadow Park, near the intersection of Madison Street and Lewis Avenue
Who: Sponsored by Lombard Jaycees
Cost: $3 admission, children ages 9 and younger are free; $25 one-pay price for carnival
Info: www.tasteoflombard.com or (630) 375-7474
"It's your typical fest with music and food and a carnival and vendors," said Jackie West, president of the Lombard Jaycees. "It's a family friendly event."
Roughly 50,000 people are expected to attend the festival, which is sponsored by the Lombard Jaycees.
This year's entertainment schedule is packed, and especially on July 4, when a total of eight events are scheduled on the festival's two stages.
That includes a Battle of the Bands finale between the winners of Willowbrook High School and Glenbard East High School's Battle of the Bands contests and performances by six finalists in the Lombard's Got Talent competition.
The Fold, a local band that sang the WGN official theme song for the Chicago Cubs last year, will serve as the headliner with a performance at 9 p.m. And the fireworks show -- which West said the Jaycees put an extra $5,000 toward this year -- will begin around 9:30 p.m.
Headliner bands for the other days of the festival include local cover band Modern Day Romeos on Tuesday, local rock band 7th Heaven on Wednesday, L.A. Guns guitarist Stacey Blades' '80s tribute band Let It Rawk on Thursday and industrial rock group Filter on Saturday.
West said there will be raffles during the week for parking passes on the Fourth of July and meet-and-greet opportunities with Let It Rawk and Filter. The parking passes and Let It Rawk raffle winners will be chosen in the vendor tent on July 3 and the Filter raffle winner will be chosen in the vendor tent a few hours before the band performs.
"The entertainment this year, I think, we really did a good job," West said, adding that Super Happy Fun Club, which includes a singer from Lucky Boys Confusion, is another headlining act.
Besides entertainment, guests are sure to enjoy food from about 20 restaurants registered for the event. New faces will include Senor Jalapeno, Miller's Ale House and the Windy City Paddywagon food truck, West said.
Three rows of tents with representatives and products from about 45 local vendors also will be set up at the event. In the vendor area guests can expect to find crafts and information about local organizations and businesses, West said.
Stylists from the Paul Mitchell School will be at the event from 5 to 10 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday to provide haircuts for people who want to donate their hair.
Carnival hours are from 5 to 11 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. There is a "one-pay" carnival price of $25 per person per day.
"Going to the fest, you're putting money into the community," West said, noting that church groups, Boy Scouts, soccer clubs and many other organizations will work the festival. "They're doing every aspect of this fest to help out their organization. That's where your money goes."
Attendees can gain free entrance to the first night of Taste of Lombard by donating blood between 1 and 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The blood drive will be held at Lombard Lagoon, 430 Marcus Drive. In addition to the waived admission fee, all donors will receive a Subway gift card and a coupon for Georgie's Hot Dogs.
The first day of the festival also has been declared "Bill Mueller Memorial Day" in honor of late village president Bill Mueller, who died in 2012. The Jaycees will donate $1 from every paid admission to a fund for the Bill Mueller community memorial site project.
Plans for the tribute project include a garden-like gathering place with a Victorian-style gazebo on the grounds of the Lombard Historical Society. According to the memorial's website, www.muellermemorial.org, about $11,000 has been raised toward the $30,000 goal.
Free shuttle bus transportation to Madison Meadow Park will be provided by the village with money from the hotel/motel tax fund. Buses will be available from 7 to 11:30 p.m. on the first three days of the festival and from noon to midnight on the last two days.
The shuttles will pick up and drop off at Madison School, 150 W. Madison St.; Pleasant Lane School, 401 N. Main St.; and Glenbard East High School, 1014 S. Main St.
A handicap accessible bus will be available each day and can be dispatched to any of the locations as needed.