A Year of "Firsts" at Barrington Hills' The Hills Are Alive Fall Festival

  • Prince Charming the Giant Toad is admired by the crowd.

    Prince Charming the Giant Toad is admired by the crowd.

Updated 10/6/2020 8:30 AM

The last bales of straw have gone and all that remain are the fall decorations dressing the village hall entryway, welcoming residents and visitors alike. A great time was had by all at the 8th Annual The Hills Are Alive Fall Festival. This year was a year of "firsts."

The Fall Festival was held on Barrington Hills' Village Hall grounds for the first time, which proved to adequately accommodate the scaled down fest due to social distancing guidelines. Attendance was a steady stream of people throughout the afternoon - happy to be outside doing something.


Attendees enjoyed the fall breeze; a clear, bright, sunny day; the tang of the BBQ; the sweet notes of sugary delights; and responsibly distanced entertainment.

This was the first year we had an electronic greeter, so-to-speak: The Klean Tunnel. Resident and CEO John Allegretti of Naturally Klean, sponsored The Hills Are Alive Fall Festival by bringing his innovative technology for sanitization. The Klean Tunnel automatically took entrants' temperatures, dispensed hand sanitizer and misted folks with an FDA/EPA approved antimicrobial.

Other firsts were:

• 2020 Census generously donated masks reminding residents to "make it count."

• Ivy Noemi (singer, songwriter and musician) engaged the crowd with her renditions of genre favorites, connecting with enthusiasts of all ages.

• Stillman Nature Center brought a variety of owls, hawks and falcons to exhibit during their presentation of "Birds of Prey."

• The "Chairman of the Boards" Baggo Charity Tourney, in conjunction with straw bale donations, generated over $300 for the Barrington Township Food Pantry.

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While some things were new at the Fest, some things remained the same - and gratefully so. Glowby the Bubbler, Scales 'n Tales Travelling Zoo, and SOUL Harbor Ranch Animal Therapy Program enticed the crowd with their stories and activities that not only captivated the children but their parents too!

Heybeck's Meat Market & Gourmet Catering and The SweetSpot didn't disappoint. Attendees enjoyed the succulent grilled fare and complemented their lunch with a satisfying, tasty treat! Children left the fest with kites and bubbles in hand and a hop, skip and a jump of joy.

The Village is continually grateful to all who made this fest possible: our donors, sponsors, volunteers and most of all the visitors who joined us that afternoon, for a chance to get out, experience an afternoon of "normalcy," and enjoy our valued open spaces. Until next time, know that the Hills ARE Alive and can still be enjoyed.

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