Lake in the Hills' Summer Sunset Festival is known for its Melon Propellin' contest, in which teams construct catapults to see how far they can launch a watermelon.
But in the 13 years since the festival began, its offerings have grown. This year, organizers are hoping visitors will check out the newly added wine tasting event, set for 5 to 10:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30.
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"We had a volunteer who had been to a wine tasting and thought it would be good for the festival," said Trudy Wakeman, director of Lake in the Hills Parks and Recreation and one of three chairmen of the festival. "One night we have a tent we don't use, so we thought we'd give it a whirl."
The $10 fee includes five tasting tickets along with a souvenir wineglass, Wakeman said. Additional tasting tickets will be available for $1 each. Participants will be able to purchase wine by the glass, bottle or case. Vendors include August Hill and Fox Valley wineries; Village Vintner Winery and Brewery; and Wild Blossom Meadery and Winery.
Also new this year is a collection in conjunction with the parade, set for 10 a.m. Saturday.
"The (parade's) Grand Marshal is the Algonquin/Lake in the Hills Food Pantry," Wakeman said. "They'll be bringing grocery carts to collect canned goods."
After the parade, if you want to see watermelons fly 300 to 400 feet, you can catch the Melon Propellin' competition at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Another favorite is the Got Talent? competition, from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday. All ages are welcome to sign up to sing, dance, and perform.
"A panel of judges will choose the first and second-place winners," Wakeman said. "We've got about 30 (participants) signed up already."
To close out the festival on Sunday, the audio and visual will come together with a fireworks display, Wakeman said.
"Modern Day Romeos will play through the fireworks," she said. The show is set for 9 p.m.
The festival -- which runs 3 to 10:30 p.m. Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 30-Sept. 1 -- also features a carnival, beer garden, food vendors, car show, Sunset 5K run, an art and craft show, horseshoe tournament and Kids' Korner. Main Stage entertainment will include Petty Cash and Libido Funk Circus on Friday; Subtonium, 28 Days and 7th heaven on Saturday; and No Left Turn and Modern Day Romeos on Sunday.
Admission is free, but there is a fee for food, beverages and carnival rides. The festival is at Sunset Park, 5200 Miller Road. For details, see summersunsetfest.com.