Grandwood Park Summerfest ready to roll

An area of unincorporated Lake County called Grandwood Park is ready to stage a festival this weekend in the shadows of its bigger neighbors of Gurnee and Lindenhurst.

One of Summerfest's volunteer organizers, Bill LeClair, said good food once again will be a hallmark of the festival. In particular, LeClair said he's big on the homemade pulled pork and grilled hamburgers.

"The hamburgers are phenomenal," LeClair said. "It's the juiciest, tastiest burger you'll ever have at an event."

Highlighting Friday's festival agenda will be a Battle of the Bands contest. LeClair expects five teenage bands to participate in the new offering at Grandwood Park Summerfest.

LeClair said the Battle of the Bands winner will be invited to play Saturday night, receive $100 cash and get three hours of recording time at a Spring Grove studio.

Plenty of action is scheduled for the event Saturday. Family games such as a watermelon-eating contest, balloon toss and toilet paper mummy wrap are set to kick off at 4 p.m.

At 4:30 p.m. Saturday, the Lake County sheriff's office canine unit will be on hand for a demonstration. Sheriff's deputies patrol unincorporated Grandwood Park.

LeClair said a petting zoo designed for children will be available from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Chickens, goats and hens are some of the animals expected to be in the petting zoo.

In the middle of the other action, a craft fair will be held from 3 to 7 p.m.

The Battle of the Bands winner will play in the main stage from 7 to 7:30 p.m. as the opening act for the headliner, 8 Miles South, which specializes in Southern rock. LeClair plays keyboards for 8 Miles South.

Capping off the evening will be a fireworks show at 9:23 p.m. LeClair said the 25-minute show will be produced by Mad Bomber Fireworks Productions to Grandwood Park's specifications.

"It's a killer show," LeClair said.

At least 4,000 patrons are expected to pass through Grandwood Park Summerfest over Friday and Saturday. Summerfest is produced by the area's civic association in collaborate with the park district.

Amanda Stautz of the Grandwood Park subdivision took second place in the Grandwood Park Summerfest bike-cycle parade contest in 2009. Last year's event had a military theme. George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

<p class="factboxheadblack">If you go</p>

<p class="News"><b>What: </b>Grandwood Park Summerfest </p>

<p class="News"><b>When:</b> 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, July 16; 3 to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, July 17</p>

<p class="News"><b>Where:</b> Grandwood Park's ballfield off Hutchins Road, between Grand Avenue and Stearns School Road</p>

<p class="News"><b>Admission:</b> Free</p>