The water flies at annual Fox Lake fire fest
Things got soaking wet at the 56th annual Fox Lake Volunteer Fire Department Festival.
The two-day fest, held Saturday and Sunday outside the Bingo Hall on Washington Street, included plenty of food, beverages and live entertainment. But the traditional water fights were the highlight once again.
"They're a lot of fun," Tom Muehlfelder, president of the volunteer fire department, said Sunday. "And today's the perfect day for it."
In the water fights, two teams face each other, brandishing a pair of fire hoses. Each side tries to use its hoses to blast an empty keg across the other team's line. On Saturday, area fire departments took turns in the water-fights court. On Sunday, local businesses and other community groups squared off.
Bartlett resident Dina Ollech was one of Sunday's participants, playing on a team called "Circus Brats," which was made up of friends and family members.
"My grandparents were actually in the Barnum & Bailey Circus," she said. "It's how they met. So that's where the name came from."
Tim Stenvig, also of Bartlett, was another Circus Brats team member.
"I used to come here just to watch, but I figured it would be even more fun to be an actual participant," Stenvig said.
The annual summer festival is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the volunteer fire department, a nonprofit organization that spearheaded the drive for the firefighter memorial that now sits outside the hall. Muehlfelder said money raised by the festival will contribute to upkeep of the memorial and other local needs.
The event drew a boisterous crowd to the Bingo Hall.
"There are a lot of other things going on this time of year, so this is primarily a local crowd," Muehlfelder said. "But we always get a nice turnout."