Burlington launches autumn season with its annual Fall Fest
By Jeanie Mayer For Sun-Times Media September 8, 2013 3:06PM
Mickayla Peters, 12, has her hands full with a puppy and a hungry goat at Fall Fest on Sunday in Burlington. | Jeanie Mayer~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 10, 2013 6:13AM
BURLINGTON — Some came for the food, others came to look at the classic cars, and still others wanted to take a chance at the turkey drop raffle. But all agreed that Burlington’s Fall Fest on Sunday was a great way to kick off the autumn season.
Organized by the Odd Fellows Lodge 105 for the past five years, the festival offers great food from local vendors; craft booths showcasing everything from fashion jewelry to new business start-ups; a petting zoo; bounce house; music; and other fun.
One of the highlights of the day is the parade, which meanders through the village streets and ends at the festival’s ground zero, Burlington Park. On Sunday, crowds turned out in droves to watch the parade and catch the candy and treats that were tossed to them.
This year, Village President Bob Walsh was on the grounds early inspecting the vehicles at the old car show. Row upon row of polished chrome and brightly painted steel gleamed in the sun, hoods open awaiting the judge’s approval.
Walsh said he was charged with selecting a winner in the President’s Choice category.
“I know something about this — I have worked on cars like these,” Walsh said as he looked over the entries.
“It is always great to see the parade with such a huge variety (of floats),” Walsh said. “You get to visit with friends and neighbors. It is outstanding. Fall Fest is a one-day event. You get your fill in one day.”
While fun was the focus, philanthropy was working behind the scenes at many of the booths. The Odd Fellows group uses the proceeds from the festival for its charitable work in the community. The Sycamore Moose Lodge was raffling a 2013 Chevy Silverado, with proceeds going to the Feed My Starving Children organization. The Burlington Lionesses also sell their fall mums at the event to drum up revenue for their charitable work.
Huntley resident Alison Hamm, 17, was at the fest keeping her nieces, Kylynn, 2, and Kelianna, 1, busy while her father, Larry Hamm, and his partner, Rob Tavolacci, manned the vendor’s tent selling their unique invention, Jimmy Sponge Stix. Tavolacci said the Elgin-based company has a patent pending on its device, which cleans behind toilets and other hard-to-reach areas and can be used to paint the areas as well.
DeKalb resident Bethany Skowronski, 15, took a break from her booth selling fashion jewelry to pet the alpaca and goats at the petting zoo offered by the Hampshire-based Mini Zoo Crew. She said she loves the alpaca the best.
Melanie Peters visited the festival with her five children. She said her husband is a lifelong resident of the town and that their family has participated in the events at the festival through their involvement with the school sports organizations.
“It is a good family function,” Peters said. “We come every year. It is a good time with friends and family.”