A party celebrating the victories of World War II that grew out of Lake Zurich created Alpine Fest, a festival that will mark its 70th year this weekend.
Organized by the Lake Zurich Lions Club, which serves the blind and visually impaired, Alpine Fest will kick off on Friday, July 20, starting at 6 p.m. and run through Sunday, July 22, at Lion Fred Blau Park, 81 East Main St., Lake Zurich.
Admission is free and activities include carnival rides, family events, food and games, ending with the largest parade in Lake County.
Footloose Frank, Alpine coordinator and Lions Club member, said the highlight Friday at 6:30 p.m. is the firefighters' water fight. Two local fire departments will each have a fire hose, from which they will shoot water to push a barrel back and forth across marked boundaries.
Frank, who has been the event coordinator for 20 years, remembers building wooden tents, making homemade games, and serving soda at his first Alpine Fest.
"It's a lot less work," Frank said adding vendors now run the show.
DRS Skinners' Amusements Inc., a family owned company that provides and operates amusement rides, will entertain carnival-goers with various rides. Some traditional games will also be present, including throwing darts, ball games, a mallet high striker, and ring toss.
Bands scheduled to perform throughout the weekend include: Hot Rocks on Friday from 7 to 11:30 p.m.; The Fine Smokables, Alex and the Allstars, and Friction playing throughout the day on Saturday starting at 3 p.m.; and 7th Heaven and Deja Vu will end the fest on Sunday from 2-9 p.m.
People can listen to the bands and eat food at an entertainment tent, which seats 3,000 people, with a $5 donation.
The parade, set for Sunday morning, will begin at Whitney Road and Route 22.
Marika Schaefer, financial secretary for the Lake Zurich Lions Club, said the parade will include local organizations, schools, cheerleaders, and anybody else who wants to join after the final group is welcome.
Fest organizers expect to have more than 25,000 attendees throughout the event.
"This fest has always been the event to be at," Schaefer said. "The kids love it, everybody loves it."