Carnival rides, a car show, crafts and many more attractions will kick off the 17th annual Lake in the Hills Summer Sunset Fest this weekend.
The festival runs from Friday through Sunday, Sept. 1-3, at Sunset Park, 5200 Miller Road.
Lake in the Hills Summer Sunset FestivalWhen: 3 to 10:30 p.m. Friday; 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1-3
Where: Sunset Park, 5200 Miller Road, Lake in the Hills
Admission: Free. Fee for carnival rides, food and drink.
Roughly 20,000 people are expected to come through the three-day event, said Ray Bogdanowski, festival co-chairman and village trustee.
New this year is a craft fair featuring local artisans, crafters and vendors showing and selling their wares from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
"We haven't had (the fair) for a couple of years," Bogdanowski said.
Festivalgoers can participate in a 2-mile fun run/walk, a 5-kilometer fun run/walk, or a timed 5-kilometer race with awards starting at 7 p.m. Friday from Sunset Park, 9200 Haligus Road. For race information, visit raceentry.com.
The festival parade will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday starting at the corner of Grafton Farm and Miller roads, heading east on Miller Road for one mile and ending at the corner of Albrecht and Miller roads. Spectators will be entertained by a variety of performances, including bands, martial arts groups, dance groups, colorful floats, and clowns, along with floats featuring local organizations and businesses.
This year's parade grand marshal will be the 2017 state champion Crystal Lake Gators boys baseball team.
Activities include bags tournament, bingo, talent contest, wine tasting, and a children's corner -- the Sunset Fun Zone featuring free crafts, games, stage performances, and face painting.
The annual classic and custom car show, sponsored by the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Chamber of Commerce, is another free event for entrants and spectators. Last year's show drew a record 120-plus cars and this year there is room for more vehicles, organizers said.
Organized by the village, the festival typically generates between $20,000 and $30,000 from carnival proceeds and vendor fees.
"When everything is said and done, there's always some money left over," Bogdanowski said. "I don't think there has been a year where the festival actually lost any money."
A committee of roughly 15 people organizes the yearly festival. It is run entirely by volunteers taking more than 100 people to manage the entire weekend of activities.
"Everyone works pretty much yearlong on putting this festival together," Bogdanowski said. "We're all hoping for great weather. So far, it looks like it's going to be a great weekend."
For more information and a complete festival schedule, visit summersunsetfest.com.