With school just around the corner, spend one of your last summer weekends with family and friends at Grayslake’s Summer Days.
Set for Aug. 19 and 20 in downtown Grayslake, near Center and Seymour streets, the event features two parades, food vendors, business booths, a bingo tent, beer tent, live music, games, rides and new this year, an arts and crafts show.
“It’s a great family event to bring the kids to,” said Greg Koeppen, chairman of the festival. “There is absolutely something for everyone.”
An expected 20,000 people will convene in the heart of town for the festival.
This year, organizers added an arts and crafts show to help attract that crowd on Saturday afternoon. Vendors will offer a variety of handcrafted products for sale from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Village Hall parking lot.
Local shopping also will be promoted. At least 10 Grayslake businesses will have booths at the event, along with sidewalk sales from merchants in the downtown area.
“We’re hoping to bring business to the area businesses,” said Karen Christian-Smith of the Grayslake Area Chamber of Commerce. “We want to help everyone out.”
A Variety of Music
The music at the festival always draws a crowd. This year’s headliners include Bella Cain, an up-and-coming country band that will perform Friday night. And back by popular demand, 7th Heaven will take the stage at 10:30 p.m. Saturday.
Several local bands will round out the schedule.
“We really have a lot of great talent in the Grayslake area that gets showcased at the festival,” said Koeppen. “It’s nice to see some new music groups of all ages, from high school kids to older adults.”
A Parade for All Ages
Visitors will get a chance to see two different parades Saturday. The larger of the two is set for 7 p.m. Parade line-up is at Grayslake Central High School. The route runs from Lake Street to Center Street and ends at Seymour Avenue at the festival site.
“We’re really hoping some of our floats light things up,” Koeppen said referring to the Summer Days theme – “It’s Electric.”
The second parade is the popular bike and pet parade for children up to age 12. This parade is open to the public. Costumes are highly recommended as ribbons and trophies are given to participants.
“It’s just absolutely amazing the ensembles that our participants put together,” said Judy Haga of the Grayslake Exchange Club, which sponsors the parade. “Some of the most interesting costumes are those that the kids have done themselves.”
Registration for the bike and pet parade will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Dollar General parking lot, 61 Center St., with the parade beginning at noon on Slusser Street.
Awards will be given after the event at the main stage.
“It is a total blast. The kids love it and the parents really like it too,” said Haga.
Celebrate Baseball During Summer Days
In conjunction with Summer Days, the Grayslake Heritage Center, 164 Hawley St., will host a family-friendly craft. From noon to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, stop in to make a sports pennant and explore a national award-winning exhibition, Embracing Change: The Growth of Grayslake.
The fun continues at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21, at Grayslake Central Park. The Grayslake Athletics and Grayslake Merchants will stage a 19th-century baseball game at the Aquatic Softball field.