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updated: 7/12/2014 7:03 PM

Rain hurts Batavia Windmill Fest attendance; Taste of Chicago canceled

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  • Gypsy, a terrier mix, wasn't able to walk Saturday morning in Batavia's Windmill City Fest pet parade, which was canceled by the rain.

       Gypsy, a terrier mix, wasn't able to walk Saturday morning in Batavia's Windmill City Fest pet parade, which was canceled by the rain.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Calvin Schaff, 2, of Batavia gets a hand from his dad, Tom, at the Touch-a-Truck event during Batavia's Windmill City Fest Saturday. Festival attendance was sparse due to bursts of rain.

       Calvin Schaff, 2, of Batavia gets a hand from his dad, Tom, at the Touch-a-Truck event during Batavia's Windmill City Fest Saturday. Festival attendance was sparse due to bursts of rain.
    photos by Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 

Intermittent bursts of rain Saturday forced the cancellation of the Taste of Chicago, Batavia's Windmill City Fest pet parade and a dog show in Cary, and set many suburban events off to a soggy start.

Chicago received 3 to 4 inches of rain earlier in the day, and the Batavia area saw anywhere from a half inch to 1.5 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service.

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A trickle of suburbanites donning raincoats and carrying umbrellas visited Batavia's Windmill City Fest on the Riverwalk, at Houston Street at Island Avenue.

Organizers canceled the 10 a.m. pet parade due to the downpour, but vendors hung on with hopes of clearer skies drawing more people to the festival later on in the day.

The four-day festival, which typically has nearly 13,000 attendees participate each year, concludes Sunday. It includes a carnival that was dormant due to the rain, a bags tournament, beer tent, live entertainment, Whiffle ball, diaper derby, craft show and flea market, and touch-a-truck.

But the rain didn't keep Elgin residents Erin and Kevin Jozwiak from bringing their three children, Ellie, 4, Ryan, 2, and Josh, 3 months old, out for a stroll through the fest.

"The trolley was a huge attraction," said Erin Jozwiak, adding that her children loved exploring the bus, fire and cement trucks also on display there.

Meanwhile, the Cary Park District's kids dog show has been rescheduled for next Saturday at Lions Park. For more information, visit carypark.com.

Saturday's events at the Taste of Chicago were to have included concerts by Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy and roots-rock songwriter Lucinda Williams.

The Taste said on its Facebook page that all tickets purchased online would be refunded automatically.

Organizers say the festival will reopen as scheduled on at 10 a.m. Sunday for its final day.

• Daily Herald news services contributed to this report.

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