First TexMex fest in Naperville to feature Chris Isaak, Rick Bayless and more
By Hank Beckman For The Sun July 10, 2012 9:06PM
Chef Rick Bayless will be giving cooking demonstrations during the TexMex Fest this weekend in Naperville. | Submitted
Updated: August 12, 2012 6:22AM
Just because Ribfest is over doesn’t mean that the festival season is slowing down in Naperville.
This weekend will see the first Naperville TexMex and Music Festival at CityGate Center, adjacent to the Hotel Arista, near Interstate 88 and Route 59.
Premium, Golden Reserve Tickets, guaranteeing a stage seat, are available Friday and Saturday for $100. General admission is $30 Friday, $20 Saturday and $5 for children both days.
“We are really excited about the musical lineup,” Scott Janess, president of InPLAY Events, a corporate events company, said. “The combination of talent on just Friday night is amazing.”
The fun kicks off on Friday at 4:15 p.m. with Carlos Ortega and his Latin Combo, followed by Rick Bayless, the chef of Chicago’s Frontera Grill and host of the television show “Mexico: One Plate at a Time” doing cooking demonstrations.
Friday’s headline act takes the stage at 8 p.m. in the person of Chris Isaak, a California-born rock musician who has also had a substantial career as an actor, including on the television series “The Chris Isaak Show.”
Saturday’s lineup begins at 3 p.m. with The Country Sky Band, a Chicago-based country group that formed as a side project to Underwater People, a popular rock group.
Next up is Asleep At The Wheel, an Austin, Texas-based swing band.
The headline act for Saturday is Poi Dog Pondering, the group that has its origins in Hawaii and has an eclectic range of musical influences, including acoustic folk, house music and dance music.
Mago Grill and Cantina will have a booth with food for purchase, along with Chicago’s Bull Head Cantina and Naperville eateries City Gate Grill, Sugar Toad and Esteban’s.
The Refresh Wine Garden will allow patrons to buy wines, many associated with Turning Leaf Vineyards.
For music-lovers who prefer their beverages to be of the hops and barley variety, Land Shark Lager will stand ready to supply the demand.
Activities for children will include face painting, balloon tricks and arts and crafts.
The naming sponsor of the event is Calamos Investments, joining Blue Cross Blue Shield, Hotel Arista and several other businesses in sponsoring an event that will benefit DuPage PADS.
Janess said the new music fest was a natural outgrowth of the work his company has done in Naperville for several years promoting the Naperville Wine Fest.
“We had such a great success with that,” he said, “that this just seemed like a natural fit.”
Janess noted the growth in the western suburbs and predicted that this year’s Tex-Mex Fest would be the first of many.
“We’re trying to create a Ravinia of the western suburbs,” he said.