Des Plaines Fall Fest aims to bring community together
For three days this autumn, the Des Plaines Fall Fest makes history fun. From Friday, Sept. 13, through Sunday, Sept. 15, visitors can enjoy live bands, a carnival, a KidZone, a history center and a car show -- all in one place.
This will be the 11th year for Fall Fest, which is held in Lake Park, at the edge of Lake Opeka. Des Plaines Park District Communications Manager Gene Haring said it all began with Des Plaines History Center Executive Director Joy Matthiessen.
"Joy, (Des Plaines Park District Superintendent of Recreation) Gayle Mountcastle and (Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce Executive Director) Barbara Ryan developed a three-day, family-friendly festival to provide an event that would bring the community together, as well as present the important work that these three Des Plaines agencies did to a broader audience," Haring said.
The history center tent will feature costumed re-enactors and historical crafts like corn husk dolls. It also includes Des Plaines merchandise and displays of Des Plaines history.
The car show will showcase custom cars -- classic, antique, muscle, hot rods and motorcycles. There's a $20 registration fee, and trophies will be awarded.
As for live music, The Hair Band Night goes on at 6:30 p.m. Friday, followed by The Boy Band Night at 9 p.m. On Saturday, Cole Brandt takes the stage at noon, followed by Blue Onyx at 1:30 p.m., Toronzo Cannon at 4 p.m., Modern Day Romeos at 6:30 p.m. and ARRA at 9 p.m.
On Sunday, it's Karma Committee at noon, followed by 7th heaven at 2:15 p.m. and Red Wanting Blue at 5:15 p.m.
The KidZone is full of activities, from a fishing derby and petting zoo to a climbing wall and puppet shows. At 1 p.m. Saturday, Todd Dowling Music will perform, then Artistry in Motion at 2 p.m., Magic with Keith at 3 p.m. and Mary Macaroni at 4 p.m.
On Sunday, Varieties Music goes on at 1 p.m., Artistry in Motion at 2 p.m. and Paul's Puppet Shows at 3 p.m.
The carnival runs from 6-11 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. Unlimited ride wristbands are $25, available at carnival ticket booths Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
"Each area was designed to provide families with maximum enjoyment at a minimal price," Haring said.
Besides the Dairy Queen Blizzards available in the KidZone, the festival will offer a range of cuisines from local restaurants. Participating are Blackhawk BBQ & Seafood, Charcoal Delights, Midwest Citrus Smashers, RS Concessions, Restaurant Mexico, Giuseppe's Pizzeria, Toasty Cheese Truck, Best Truckin BBQ and Home Bakery & Festivals LLC.
"We have a couple of food trucks this year along with a great lineup of local restaurants," Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce Member Services Manager Marisa Marton said. "Why not attend? The bands are great, there's plenty of great entertainment for the kids. Try out local food you may not have had. It's next to beautiful Lake Opeka. You can take a walk around the lake while enjoying the music and carnival sights and sounds."
Haring said they work all year to plan the festival.
"It takes thousands of hours of work to produce an event where everyone can come and enjoy themselves in a safe, friendly environment," he said.
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Des Plaines Fall Fest 2019
When: 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13; noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14; and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15
Where: Lake Park, 2200 Lee St., Des Plaines
Highlights: Carnival rides, midway with games, food, music (headliners: Boy Band Night, ARRA, Red Wanting Blue), KidZone with climbing wall, crafts and activities, car show 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday