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GroveFest and Festival of Cars returns this weekend in Downers Grove

People enjoy one of the rides at Downers Grove's Grove Fest last year.
Erica Benson file photo -
People enjoy one of the rides at Downers Grove's Grove Fest last year. Erica Benson file photo -

DOWNERS GROVE – Streetrods, American classics, 4x4 trucks and other tuned-up cars will roll into Downers Grove Sunday for the Festival of Cars' 30th anniversary.

The annual celebration of unique automobiles and their owners is the final day of the Rotary Club's GroveFest beginning Thursday. The car show runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

Festival of Cars committee member Mel Gregory said on a day with nice weather, the event can expect up to about 200 different car entries.

"We're trying to put a darn god car show out there for people who love cars," he said.

One highlight of the Festival of Cars is the awards presentation based upon participant voting. Trophies are presented for the Pierce Downer Award, Best in Show, and the Mayor’s Award, as well three awards for each of 20 car classes. Participants also receive a dash plaque and goodie bags for the first 200 entrants, and door prizes.

Dennis Secara of DJ Big Bopper Service and owner of 1957 Chevy will provide music throughout the show.

The festival is open to the public at no charge, and participants pay an entrance fee of $20.

To register for the car show or for additional information, visit or All car show proceeds go to support Rotary programs.

The car show is located on Warren Avenue, just north of the BNSF railroad tracks west of Forest Avenue. Access to GroveFest’s craft show, entertainment, food and rides from the car show is just across the BNSF tracks.

GroveFest offers carnival rides, the Main Street Food & Business Expo, a Craft Show in Fishel Park and an entertainment line-up on three different stages.

The Rotary is offering a “Sneak-a-Peak” one-price evening from 5:30 to 10 p.m. on Thursday with an all-ride pass for $23 per person.

Friday will feature an afternoon special of unlimited kiddie rides from noon to 4 p.m. for $18 per person.

Residents can buy carnival pre-sale tickets at Avec Panache, 1010 Curtiss St.; Community Bank of Downers Grove at 1111 Warren Ave. and 718 Ogden Ave.; Downtown Management Office, 933A Curtiss St.; Heritage House Florist, 5109 Main St.; and My Favorite Toy Store, 5137 Main St.

More information is available at

GroveFest runs from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Thursday, noon to 11 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and noon to 10:30 p.m. Sunday.

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