East Dundee not participating in Heritage Days festival

Finding volunteers to help with this year's Heritage Fest may be easier now that East Dundee village leaders have decided not to participate.

East and West Dundee residents will not be torn as to where to donate their time, handing out alcohol and soft drinks, said Kim Tibbetts, lead organizer for West Dundee's September festival.

"We need 200 volunteers for the beer and soft drink tents," she said. "It may be easier finding them now because East Dundee will not be hosting any events during our events."

Heritage Fest will run Sept. 14-16. For the last five years, East Dundee has been part of the festival with carnival rides, music and food on the east side of the Fox River. The festival's history runs longer, more than 10 years.

Many of them went on without East Dundee's participation. With the help of local groups and church congregations, West Dundee plans, hosts and has expanded Heritage Fest from its fledgling days to the renowned Fox River Valley party it is today.

Earlier this year, its village leaders decided not to contribute to the annual festival. Instead, they will host an Octoberfest celebration in the fall.

The split will extend the festival season in the two river towns, said Lael Miller, East Dundee village president.

"I don't know what will be included in the new festival. It's being planned now," he said.

The call for volunteers has started in West Dundee for this year's festival.

"(Losing East Dundee support) will not take away from any of the events," Tibbetts said. "We'll still have live bands, food tents, the car show, craft fair, antique show and, naturally, the fireworks.

Dundee-Crown High School will again have its homecoming parade on Sunday, the last day of Heritage Fest.

"People may miss the carnival rides in East Dundee, but there will be plenty of things to do during the three days," Tibbetts said.

Attractions in both villages at the same time were not meant to compete with each other, Tibbetts and Miller said. They complemented each other.

An estimated 10,000 people attend West Dundee events. From 8,000-10,000 attended East Dundee events, Miller said.

To volunteer for Heritage Fest, call Tibbetts at the West Dundee village hall, (847) 551-3800.

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