Maple Park Fun Fest sure to please
by Susan O’Neill
Maple Park Fun Fest is fast approaching, and there are lots of things to look forward to, besides good food, good music and catching up with old friends.
The weekend kicks off with the 5K Run/Walk, Romp in the Park, with registration taking place at North Park at 7 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 3. Following closely behind is the Men’s Slo-Pitch Softball games, which begin at 8 a.m. in the Civic Center Fields. The Fun Fest began as a Slo-Pitch tournament years ago, and all of the other events grew up around it. The games are played throughout the weekend, beginning at 7 a.m. on Sunday and Monday, as well.
The parade down Main Street, which takes place at 6 p.m. on Saturday, will feature the usual favorites, such as the Kane County Corn Growers in their midget cars and several area high school bands, including the Kaneland and DeKalb high schools’ bands, as well as the Kaneland Harter Middle School band. A new entrant this year is the Rockford Ice Hogs (Hockey Team) mascot.
This year, the young people will have their own parade: on bikes. The decorating station opens at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday on Main Street, with the line-up set for 12:15 p.m. Two $25 cash awards will be presented, one for the most patriotic, and one for the most creatively decorated bike.
A definite crowd-pleaser, the 7th Annual Toilet Bowl Challenge, begins at 1 p.m. on Main Street.
The Maple Park Fire Department will present something a little different this year. Instead of the typical touch-a-truck experience, firefighters will demonstrate how they extricate an individual trapped inside a car. According to Fire Chief Kevin Peterson, firefighters will show how their jaws of life tools are used to free someone from an automobile.
A Lifestar helicopter will be on-hand (as long as they don’t have any “true calls”) to demonstrate an airlift to a nearby trauma center.
The extrication demonstration will begin in front of the firehouse on County Line Road at 2 p.m.
Crafters and vendors begin showing their wares at 10 a.m. on Saturday, and the food and beer garden opens at 11 a.m.
The American Legion serves its legendary full country breakfast, from 7 a.m. to noon on both Saturday and Sunday. Come hungry, as it is an all-you-can-eat affair cooked by the members of the Legion.
In addition to the name music talent, this year Maple Park will offer new bands and other entertainers the chance to perform on a large stage with a great sound system, said POC’s Music Store Dave Miller. Miller said he is looking for additional talent for the Maple Park Idol Competition and the New Band Showcase, held on Saturday afternoon.
“We’re still looking for some Kaneland talent,” Miller said.
Don’t forget to stick around for the fireworks show put on at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday night by Maple Park’s own fireworks handler, Roger Kahl. Kahl is well-known in the area for his fireworks displays, and conducts the shows for other towns including Kaneville and others.