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updated: 7/23/2014 4:42 PM

Cary Grove chamber hosts first fall fest

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The Cary Grove Area Chamber of Commerce will host its inaugural Cary Main Street Fest on Sept. 27 and 28.

The outdoor fall festival will feature local restaurants and businesses, a marketplace of vendors and artists, live entertainment and a children's area.

"We're really excited about the launch of this event," said Brad Ball, chamber executive director. "A street festival offers a great opportunity to reach a lot of people. The chamber is excited about just promoting the village of Cary and all the great things that happen in the town. A festival just seemed like a great way to have a community celebration."

It's also a way to highlight Cary's businesses, restaurants, and community organizations, he said.

"We're hoping to have about 5,000 people come through the first year," Ball said.

The event will serve up a variety of craft beers and wines complementing the flavorful menus of participating eateries. It will feature a fine arts showcase of local artists, including live art creation and interactive displays. Local bands will provide the entertainment lineup on the main stage, while the family stage will highlight theater, dance and other interactive children's programming.

Band submissions will be accepted at until July 31.

The fest will serve as a fundraiser for the Cary Grove Chamber. Officials also aim to give back to the community through a volunteer grant program. Funds will be awarded to local nonprofits that help fill nearly 200 volunteer shifts needed to run the fest.

Proceeds also will help support other chamber events, such as Cary Cruise Night, which runs every Wednesday from June through August, and the Cary Farmers Market, June through September.

The chamber is seeking sponsor partnerships to underwrite the event. The Cary village board recently approved a $20,000 contribution.

Festival guests will be asked to donate $5 at the gate for admission. Revenue from donations, sponsorships and beverage sales will help support the volunteer grant program.

"We're looking forward to the festival and hope to entice residents and neighboring communities to experience the best that Cary has to offer," said Melissa Lagowski with Chicago-based event planning firm Big Buzz Idea Group that is producing the event.

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