Buffalo Grove Days festival getting better with age
At 57 years old, the traditional festival over Labor Day weekend in Buffalo Grove -- known simply as BG Days -- shows no signs of its age.
The festival returns Wednesday, Aug. 29, through Monday, Sept. 3, at Mike Rylko Community Park, 951 McHenry Road in Buffalo Grove. It is the longest-running festival in the Northwest suburbs and one of the few held at the end of the summer, yet this family fest packs a punch.
For starters, organizers have expanded the carnival with additional rides, and moved the Ferris wheel closer to the food tent area. Visitors also will be able to visit the business fair -- sponsored by the Buffalo Grove Chamber of Commerce -- and craft fair at the same time, which will improve visibility for the vendors, says Jennifer Maltas, deputy village manager.
"The best part of the event is that there is truly something for people of all ages," Maltas says.
She points to the car show on Labor Day, that proved to be so popular last year, they're bringing it back. Embedded in the five-day schedule are activities such as a Baggo tournament, dog show, barbecue challenge, disc golf competition, Rotary duck race and 5K/10K stampede.
The festival also includes the parade, which this year is sponsored by Woodman's Markets, a new grocery store slated to open in early September in Buffalo Grove. The new food market also is sponsoring the main stage entertainer on Saturday night, Eve 6.
The Buffalo Grove Days parade steps off at 11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 2, and includes among other units, the 450-member strong marching band -- the largest in school history -- from Stevenson High School.
In all, the parade features more than 85 units, including more bands, floats, antique and classic cars, fire and police vehicles, and the ever-popular Shriners with their motorcycles and tiny cars.
This year's grand marshal is Steve Trilling, who served 15 years on the board of trustees before retiring last year.
"The Buffalo Grove Day Parade is always a big highlight for us," says Sonny Petway, director of bands at Stevenson. "We are always excited to be able to give back to the community that has done so much for our program."
A highlight of BG Days is its lineup of live entertainment, played out on three stages, including a kids' stage, beer tent stage and main stage.
Main stage acts include: Markette & Hutch, Suburban Cowboy, Boy Band Night, Eve 6, Centerfold and 7th heaven. The beer tent ensembles range from Andrew Blendermann of Mount Prospect playing hits from Broadway to Sinatra, as well as the JB Jazz Quartet, the Gingers, and the Robbie Gold Band, to name just a few.
Children's entertainment plays out on the Just 4 Kids stage. Entertainers run the gamut from face painting, crafts and balloons; to a juggler, magician and exotic animals.
Speaking of children, BG Days partners with Buffalo Grove's Commission for Persons with Disabilities to host a pair of special events. They are bringing back an exhibition game of Buddy Baseball, which takes place at 4 p.m. Saturday on Kendrigan Field at Twin Creeks Park.
They also host the "Fun & Food Program," which opens up the carnival rides to children with disabilities and up to four family members, followed by a complimentary lunch, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Labor Day. Preregistration, however, is required, at www.bgdays.com/events/special-needs-events/.
Maltas says the entire community works together to host the event, and she means it. She points to organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce, which hosts the beer tent and business fair; the Rotary Club which hosts Bingo on Thursday night and a duck race on Sunday; nonprofit organizations, which sell nonalcoholic drinks and benefit from the profits; while the Buffalo Grove Park District offers up Rylko Park for the weekend.
"Buffalo Grove Days is a great way for family and friends to come together," Maltas adds, "and celebrate the holiday weekend."
If you goWhat: Buffalo Grove Days festival
When: 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29, and Thursday, Aug. 30; 5 to 11:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31; 8 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1; 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 2; 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 3
Where: Mike Rylko Community Park, 951 McHenry Road, Buffalo Grove.
Features: Bingo, food tent, beer tent, musical entertainment, craft fair, business expo, kids' crafts, the Buddy baseball game, parade, carnival, car show and Fun and Food program.