The 53rd Algonquin Founders' Days is moving to a new location this year, and organizers have taken advantage of the extra space by adding new events.
The construction on the Western Bypass necessitated the annual festival be moved from Towne Park to Algonquin Lakes Park on the east side of town. Algonquin Lakes Park, which has 35 acres compared to Towne Park's 12 acres, is located behind Algonquin Lakes School, 1401 Compton Dr., Algonquin.
This year's festival runs from Thursday, July 25, to Sunday, July 28.
Among the new offerings this year is a baby crawling contest, ice cream eating contest, stand up paddle boarding challenge at Riverfront Park, and a family olympics contest, according to Sue Bazdor, secretary for the Algonquin Founders' Day organization.
"We've also doubled the size of our carnival because we have more space," Bazdor said.
The festival will open Thursday with a carnival for special kids from 4 to 6 p.m., and the annual cardboard boat regatta at the same time at Riverfront Park, 201 N. Harrison St., Algonquin.
The Opening Ceremonies of the 53rd Founders' Days is scheduled for 7 p.m. when former Algonquin village manager Bill Ganek will be named "2013 Founders Honoree" and Matt Schipper, who served eight years on the Founders' Days Board as well as several other organizations, will be recognized as the "2013 Founders' Favorite."
This year's festivities include plenty of live entertainment, the Taste of Founders, Founders' Run, social garden, bags tournament, Founders' Market and Bazaar, dog and cat show, bake off contest, Founders' Diaper Dash, kids bike decorating contest and more activities at the Kids Korner.
Those people who want to participate in the challenges can register on the Algonquin Founders' Days website.
Main stage bands include: The Lounge Puppets, 7th Heaven, Smokin’ Gunz, Modern Day Romeos, Mike & Joe, Pirates Over 40, and Battle of the Bands.
The parade is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 27, and will follow the same route as past years, stopping short by about 100 feet of the original end-point due to the construction.
"In the interest of public safety, the parade will end at Washington Street due to recent changes in the Western By-Pass construction project," Bazdor said. "Seating south of Washington is not recommended"
The fireworks show will top off the four-day celebration on Sunday, July 28, at Riverfront Park. More information is available at www.Algonquinfoundersdays.com.
Will Festival Return to Towne Park?
Bazdor said organizers will have to wait until next year to determine whether the annual Founders' Days festivities will return to Towne Park. Residents should expect the festival to be held at Algonquin Lakes Park again next year, she said.
"The Western Bypass construction is not scheduled to be done until July 2014, and that doesn't give us enough time to plan," Bazdor said. "We have to wait until the construction is finished, and the village officials can get into Towne Park to assess whether we can go back there after the construction is done."
Bazdor said festival organizers have been receiving positive feedback from residents living near Algonquin Lakes Park, excited about the prospect of getting to walk to the festival and not hassle with parking.
Shuttle Bus Service
Free shuttle bus service for the festival will be offered on Friday and Saturday night beginning at 5 p.m. and running 1 hour after the park closes.
The bus service is sponsored by the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Rotary Club and Algonquin Township. Pick up and drop-off will occur approximately every 20 minutes from St. Margaret Mary’s School to Algonquin Lakes Park.
Shuttle Buses will be available for the Founders' Fireworks Spectacular beginning at 7:00 pm. Shuttle buses will run from Butera Market on the Eastside and Joe Caputo's & Sons on the West.
Check back to Patch for more information about the Algonquin Founders' Days.