Residents come out for Heritage Fest
By Erin Sauder For Sun-Times Media September 14, 2013 3:16PM
Crowds came out for the The East Dundee carnival as part of Heritage Fest. | Erin Sauder ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 16, 2013 6:54AM
The Dundees were the place to be this weekend, as the east and west side came together for the 16th annual three-day Heritage Fest.
East Dundee resident Kathy McMeins brought her granddaughter, Olivia, 9, to enjoy the festivities.
“It’s great,” she said. “It’s bigger and better this year.”
The inclusion of East Dundee made it so there was entertainment on both sides of the Fox River. For the first time in decades, East Dundee hosted a carnival in the downtown.
“I think they needed that,” McMeins said.
West side festivities included music on the main stage, food, fireworks, games, crafters displaying their handmade wares along the Riverwalk, a car show and more. Besides the carnival, East Dundee also hosted music at the Depot, a beer garden, and its own arts and crafts fair at Bartels Park.
Trustee Kirstin Wood, who also sits on East Dundee’s Community Events Commission, led the charge on including East Dundee in this year’s festival activities. She had fun attending the event and enjoying the fruits of her labor.
“For having about 10 weeks to get this together, I think we did a phenomenal job,” she said. “We have an amazing relationship with all of our vendors. We have a good crowd. And we’re really getting the community together.”
She’s looking forward to continuing East Dundee’s participation in Heritage Fest in years to come.
“I honestly think it’s only going to get better,” she said.
She was also excited that the fireworks show could be seen at the Depot in East Dundee where hundreds of people sat enjoying the bands.
“That was really neat,” she said.
West Dundee resident Joel Davies watched the fireworks show from the rooftop of Zeller Marketing & Design where he works in East Dundee.
“I think it’s awesome,” he said. “I’m always pleased when they do fireworks for Heritage Fest. And it’s good to see the communities cooperating.”
It was standing room only Friday night in West Dundee when the popular Chicago band 7th Heaven took the stage. And lines for funnel cakes and corn dogs on both sides of the river kept forming all weekend.
For Rick Magana of Lake in the Hills, it was his first Heritage Fest experience.
“I thought I’d come and get to know the neighborhood and see what Dundee is doing with the historic district,” he said.
East Dundee residents Robert and Adriana Negron and their son, Ivan, 6, are regulars to the fest.
“We usually come every year,” Adriana Negron said. “It’s a great atmosphere.”
As for what she likes best about the festival, she couldn’t narrow it down.
“Everything,” she said.
Village officials from both Dundees also came out to support the fest including West Dundee Village President Chris Nelson, who could be found selling soda and water with his two daughters; East Dundee Village President Lael Miller; former West Dundee Village President Larry Keller; East and West Dundee’s village managers, Bob Skurla and Joseph Cavallaro; and trustees from both villages.