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Article posted: 12/1/2012 1:26 PM

Dickens in Dundee does it right

By Russell Lissau

East Dundee resident Megan Helin has been to all 25 of the annual Dickens in Dundee festivals, but Saturday's was her favorite.

That she was accompanied by sons Austin, 8, and Elliot, 4. was a big reason.

"We're having a great day," Helin said. "And (there's) no snow. We don't have to fight through the snow."

Helin and her boys were among the hundreds of people who lined a stretch of Main Street in West Dundee and East Dundee for the festival's parade Saturday morning.

Local fire trucks, a flag corps, Scouts and the Dundee-Crown marching band were just a few of the many entrants.

In honor of the event's namesake, West Dundee residents Mike and Ginny Buhrmann donned 19th century-style hats and accessories to enjoy the parade.

The outfits are a tradition for the couple.

"It's Dickens in Dundee -- it sort of goes with the part," Mike Buhrmann explained.

"It's just fun pretending," Ginny Buhrmann added. "It's a little bit of what might have been."

Once the parade wrapped up, people headed over to Grafelman Park in West Dundee for more festivities.

Music played, kids made crafts and got their faces painted, and firefighters handed out bags of fresh popcorn.

In one corner of the park, two pens of horses, goats and other animals kept children and adults entertained and giggling.

Across the park, people checked out Christmas trees gaily decorated by local schoolchildren.

Algonquin resident Joanna Pionpkowski brought her daughters Nelly, 4, and Emma, 3, to the park for crafts and other activities.

Pionpkowski said the festival kicked off the holiday season for the family.

"We really wanted to see Santa today and take some pictures," she said. "You can feel the spirit."

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