Two of August's biggest celebrations in Arlington Heights -- the Mane Event Block Party and Taste of Arlington Heights -- are back Friday and Saturday to kick off the International Festival of Racing at Arlington International racetrack.
The Mane Event is a celebration of more than 60 local businesses, but also has food vendors, live music and children's entertainment from 5-11 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 8.
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If you goMane Event
5-11 p.m. Friday, Aug. 8, Vail and Campbell, downtown Arlington Heights.
Entertainment: Metropolis Performing Arts, 5 p.m.; Pamela Rose & Windy City Country, 6 p.m.; Mike & Joe, 8:30 p.m.
Business Expo: 5-7 p.m.
Taste of Arlington Heights
Noon-11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, Vail and Campbell, downtown Arlington Heights.
Entertainment: Suburban Chicago's Got Talent 10 finalists perform, winner named, starting at 3:30 p.m.; Exit 157, 6 p.m.; Centerfold, 8:30 p.m.
Taste of Arlington Heights, a taste-testing frenzy of more than 20 local restaurants with music and entertainment, will be held noon to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 9.
According to Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jon Ridler, the weekend serves as a community kickoff for the week leading up to the Arlington Million on Aug. 16, the biggest day in Illinois racing.
Both Friday and Saturday festivals are held in downtown Arlington Heights near Vail and Campbell.
New to the Taste this year, Arlington Cares will host a classic car show Saturday morning on the open lot on Campbell Street across from Runners High 'n' Tri.
"Mane Event ... provides a wonderful opportunity to get your neighbors or family together and enjoy the block-party fun," said Nancy Kluz, community relations coordinator for the village.
Main stage entertainment for the Mane Event will include Pamela Rose & Windy City Country from 6-7:30 p.m. and Mike & Joe from 8:30-10:30 p.m.
On Saturday, the 10 finalists of this summer's Suburban Chicago's Got Talent competition will perform on stage starting at 3:30 p.m., followed by the winner being named.
In the evening, the main stage will have the band Exit 147 opening for the headliner Centerfold.
"The bookend events are both very well attended and we are thankful to work collaboratively with the chamber in hosting two events that showcase all that Arlington Heights has to offer," Kluz said.
"We thank the special events Premium sponsors for their generous assistance in making the Mane Event such a success -- Wells Fargo Financial Advisors, The Peoples' Bank and LaVelle Law," she added.
The title sponsor for the Taste of Arlington Heights is AAA Travel and Insurance, Ridler said.
In previous years the weekend has drawn between 8,000 and 11,000 people to downtown Arlington Heights each night, he added.
"This is a great time to come out, see friends, hear some live music, enjoy food from our restaurants, learn about our local businesses and just have a great time downtown," Ridler said.