When TV doesn't cut it, days and nights of community fun may be what you need

You know, you don’t have to sit home this weekend bouncing back and forth from Netflix to Prime to Max to Hulu, Apple TV+ and beyond wondering how there could be so many shows on television and nothing that really grabs you. There’s probably something lively and entertaining just a few blocks or a short drive away.

And we can help you find it.

Heading into summer, few things will lift your spirits like sharing good times with a community of friends and neighbors, and few things say “community” like a local shindig or festival. To find out what’s waiting for you, put down the clicker and pick up your Daily Herald, in print or online.

Tonight alone, you could find yourself rocking to an Elton John tribute band in Bolingbrook, enjoying the sounds of summer with Throwbacks in downtown Arlington Heights, swinging to country rock in Elgin, swaying to the municipal band in Naperville’s Central Park, relaxing to a string quartet at Harper College or even just listening to poetry in Lake Zurich. These are among many options described in listings we’ve had in Neighbor and our Friday Time out! sections.

Geneva’s Swedish Days festival running through Sunday is one of scores of suburban festivals and events offering community entertainment alternatives this summer. Courtesy Kelly Vanderploeg Photography

Our communities are teeming with opportunities to get out into the fresh air, meet up with friends and share in the kind of excitement of the season that no television or electronic program can equal.

To get a head start on your planning, begin with Friday’s Time out! listings of Festivals and Events. There you’ll find scores of shows, events, fests and programs worth checking out — more than 200 column inches of them just last week. We also carry local listings on Saturday’s Back Page of the front section and in Sunday’s Neighbor, and we frequently break the options down according to their particular appeal — beer fests, ethnic and cultural celebrations or fishing derbies, for example.

Of course, we’ll have special focus in the coming week on Fourth of July festivals and fireworks.

And our coverage — coordinated by Susan Klovstad, Luke Zurawski, Chris Gerke, Norrine Twohey and others — carries more than just time and place. It also often provides information on what to bring and what not to, what bands are playing, the variety of attractions that will be on hand, event web links and more.

Did you miss an edition or misplace a section? Jump online and check out what’s available at our community calendar at www.dailyherald/calendar, or let us remind you every week by subscribing to our Things To Do newsletter at

Nor is our coverage limited to merely listing events to come. It also features photos and stories afterward or in the midst of a festival, all helping to emphasize that our communities aren’t defined merely by debates over taxes, plans for new businesses and industries or local accidents and controversies but also by the sounds, tastes and laughs we share with each other.

Sometimes, sure, nothing can beat a quiet night at home with a movie or favorite TV series. But there’s definitely more going on around us to perk up our spirits and get our bodies moving, and there’s no better place to find it than here, in your community newspaper.

• Jim Slusher,, is managing editor for opinion at the Daily Herald. Follow him on Facebook at and on X at @JimSlusher.

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