Celebration of Summer weekend returns to Lake Villa

The 12th annual Celebration of Summer returns to Lehmann Park in Lake Villa for a four-day run that begins Thursday.

The event kicks off with a 20-act talent show hosted by Palombi Middle School. Performances begin at 6 p.m. Thursday.

“They did it last year for the first time, and it was a very big hit, so they’re repeating it this year,” said Betty Burns, volunteer on the event’s committee.

Friday is “Teen Night” from 6 to 9 p.m. for Lake Villa Township students between the ages of 11 to 16 and will feature carnival games, food, dancing and sports tournaments. Each participant will be given three raffle tickets upon entrance. The event is sponsored by the Lindenhurst-Lake Villa Chamber of Commerce.

The largest event of the weekend is the one that started it all 12 years ago at the village’s centennial celebration. On Saturday, community members will have the opportunity to see the Lakes Area Swing Band and a fireworks show from 6 to 10 p.m. Admission is free.

“We call it ‘Ravinia in Lake Villa,’” Burns said. “It was just one of those evenings that everyone fell in love with ... so we’ve been doing it again and again for 11 years now.”

Burns said more than 1,000 festival goers are expected. All attendees are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items for the Lake Villa Food Pantry.

There will also be a raffle for four grand prizes: a motorized bike, TV, kegerator and bicycle. Tickets cost $5 each or $20 for five tickets, and proceeds go toward funding the event next year.

“We’ve had people tell us (the fireworks show is) the best in Lake County,” Burn said.

The Celebration of Summer weekend comes to a close on Sunday after “The Kroozers” antique car show at 8 a.m., a public safety exhibit by the Lake Villa Police Department from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and a cardboard boat race from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Interested participants in the cardboard boat race may preregister at village hall for a reduced price of $8. Boat kits are available for purchase for $15 in advance as well. The cost of registration on Sunday will be $10. Racers can also build boats with their own materials.

All events end on Sunday at 4 p.m.

Carnival games and refreshments also are part of the event. For more information, visit

“We have lots of people that come back every year and bring their friends,” Burns said. “It’s just a fun, family event.”

  Carnival games at last yearÂ’s Celebration of Summer in Lake Villa. George LeClaire/, 2011
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