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Festival fundraiser necessary to keep Keepataw Days alive

LEMONT – To come up with the money necessary to fund the annual Keepataw Days Festival, event organizers are holding the first ever Family Fun Fest fundraiser from today to Sunday on the grounds of the Lemont Township, 16300 Alba St.

Keepataw Days president Mike Carey said the annual Labor Day Weekend festival must be financially self-supporting. Attendance at the Keepataw Days has been marred the past three years by rain, so a good turnout for the Family Fun Fest is “very crucial,” he said.

“We don’t have the startup money to get [Keepataw Days] off the ground,” he said.

The Lemont Township is partnering with the Keepataw Days organizers on the event and also will raise money for upkeep of open spaces.

“Keepataw Days is a cornerstone event for Lemont,” said Township Supervisor Steven Rosendahl. “In current times, we need to try to keep those traditions alive.”

The Family Fun Fest will offer much of the same entertainment as Keepataw Days, although on a smaller scale.

Alpine Amusements will set up a midway with carnival rides – about two-thirds the size of the Keepataw Days festival – from 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday.

Unlimited rides will be available from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday for $20 a day.

Food booths will include Mamma D’s, Zaccarelli’s Pizza, Tidal Crave and New China Express.

Carey worked with K.C. Audio to book many of the same bands that play during Keepataw Days, which will perform for free.

“We have had an overwhelming response of the bands who have played days in the past to come out and help us do this fundraiser,” he said.

As the event title suggests, the Family Fun Fest will be family friendly, Carey said.

The setting is in more of a neighborhood location than the Keepataw Days. There also will be more bands playing during the daytime, so children can attend.

Kerry said he wants the Family Fun Fest to be an annual event, but it will depend on the success of the coming weekend.

“Getting people to know we’re actually going to be there this weekend is probably going to be our hardest challenge,” he said.

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