Countdown to 2011 Summer Sunset Festival

It's almost time for Lake in the Hills end-of-summer bash.

will soon be transformed as crowds pack the Lake in the Hills park to enjoy the sights and sounds of the 2011 Summer Sunset Festival.

The festival will be held Friday, Sept. 2, through Sunday, Sept. 4.

Many crowd favorites —such as the Melon Propellin’ contest that's drawing competitors from as far away as Ohio this year and first-rate musical entertainment — will be back. (Check back to Lake in the Hills Patch tomorrow for a feature on this year's Melon Propellin' contestants). 

This is the eleventh year of the village-run festival meant to celebrate the  Labor Day weekend and close out the summer season. As always, admission is free. Patrons need only pay for food, drink and carnival rides and games.

"Back then the village of Lake in the Hills never had a festival, we wanted to have a festival, but we didn't want to compete with our neighbors on either side, and that's how we picked Labor Day," said LITH Parks and Recreation Director Trudy Wakeman said.

By rough estimates, the village welcomed about 35,000 visitors over the three-day period to last year's festival, Wakeman said.

Festivities include food from area restaurants, carnival rides for all ages, a craft show featuring 30 exhibitors, a business EXPOsure and the Kids’ Korner offering free crafts, games and prizes for elementary-age children, Wakeman said. The festival concludes on Sunday with a fireworks show. 

On the entertainment side, organizers have planned the traditional Classic and Custom Car show, a Got Talent? performance open to entertainers of all ages and talents, and Battle of the Bands contest sponsored by JC’s Guitars & Lessons of Lake in the Hills, and Evolution Recordings.

Back as well are the baggo tournament and horseshoe tournaments. The bag-toss event accepts up to 32 teams, and the horseshoe tournament is run by the LITH Sportsmen's Club, Wakemand said.

The Melon Propellin' —  where teams build catapults to literally propel melons — is one of the festival's highlights. Once built, competitors gather to see which weapon is the best watermelon launcher.

"We have one group traveling from Ohio, and we got Moretti's Restaurant to sponsor them," Wakeman said.

The 2011 Sunset 5K Run/2-Mile Walk

This year's run is slated for the evening of Friday, Sept. 2.

Organizers promise a flat and fast course. Early bird race fees are $25 before Aug. 30, and $30 there after. The race awards are presented on the main stage at the festival.

, will host the skateboarding contest


The 2011 Sunset Festival Parade is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 2.

Bands, martial arts groups, dance groups, colorful floats, clowns, local businesses and organization displays, as well as the Melon Propellin’ catapults and Lake in the Hills Patch are all in the lineup.

The parade will start at the corner of Grafton Farm and Miller roads, travel east along Miller and conclude at the corner of Albrecht and Miller roads.

The weekend of fun will be topped off with a brilliant fireworks display. Attendees should bring blankets or lawn chair and watch the show from Sunset Park slated to start at 9:30 p.m. Sunday. 

2011 Main Stage Entertainment

The 2011 Sunset Festival Main Stage will provide live band entertainment Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. All entertainment is free.

This year's musical lineup is as follows:

Friday, Sept. 2, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Friction: a cover band that’s been performing in the Chicago area since 2003. The band delivers a “crowd-friendly playlist” from classical Motown to Billboard’s latest hits.

9 to 10:30 p.m. Hi Infidelity:  a 1980s award-winning cover band from the Chicago area. The band plays rock hits from the 1980s to the best new music. It’s known for “great vocals and harmonies.”

Saturday, Sept. 3, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Run 4 Cover: Plays a selection of hits from several decades of hits including rock, pop and dance.

9 to 10:30 p.m. 7th Heaven: This band has played the Chicago region for the past 24 years, and has 250 booking per year. The lead singer, former winner of Britain’s version of American Idol, “Pop Stars,” was brought straight from Northern Ireland. The band plays everything from Def Lepard, The Beatles, Bon Jovi, Journey to U2.

Sunday, Sept. 4, 5:30 to 7 p.m. No Left Turn: plays rock ‘n roll oldies from the 1960s and 1970s, and also songs by Tom Petty, The Rolling Stones and Bad Company.

8 to 9:30 p.m. The Neverly Brothers: Not an oldies cover band, or a tribute act. This band delivers a “unique, retro-sonic concept” of the American Rockabilly roots. Performs renditions of hits by Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, The Beatles, The Kinks and other bands that shaped music from 1955 to 1965.

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