SUGAR GROVE – The slogan – “Be nice. Be happy. Be dancing.” – will help the Kindness Campaign get its second year off to a rousing start with a “Happy Dance” event Friday as part of the opening ceremony of the Sugar Grove Corn Boil.
The dance will follow the festival’s parade, which starts at 5 p.m. Friday at John Shields Elementary School, 85 S. Main St., Sugar Grove. All are welcome to join in the dance to the Pharrell Williams song, “Happy,” which will help celebrate the opening ceremonies’ theme of “kindness in the community.” Bears mascot Staley Da Bear will participate. Renee Dee is the founder of PEAK for Kids, which is the host of the Kindness Campaign, a Kaneland area collaboration that encourages kindness in the community and fights bullying. She has taken part in previous opening ceremonies, and she said she is excited about bringing awareness to the organization.
“It is our intent to provide struggling youths with a glimmer of hope and possibly even a resource or two that might affect their life in a nice, happy way,” Dee said. “Events like this help raise awareness, and raising awareness provides resources.”
It’s just the first part of the three-day festival that takes place around the area of John Shields. Also on Friday night, the Sugar Grove Citizen of the Year will be announced. Other festival highlights include:
• Music performances to take place each day at the event’s soundstage. The Duke Band (6 p.m.), Red Woody (7:30 p.m.) and Libido Funk Circus (9:30 p.m.) will play Friday. Generation (3 p.m.), Humphrey and McKoewn (5 p.m.), Rockstar Rodeo (6:30 p.m.) and Lounge Puppets (8:30 p.m.) will play Saturday. And 4th Point (1 p.m.), City Harbor (2:15 p.m.), Citizen Way (3 p.m.) and Mikeschair (4 p.m.) will perform Sunday.
• Bingo games will run from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
• Carnival rides begin to operate from 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday. Rides start again at 5 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
• A KidZone area operates from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Among the events will be a water balloon toss contest (2 p.m. Saturday), Colonial Cafe ice cream eating contest (1:30 p.m. Sunday) and the Corn Boil 500 Big Wheel Race (4 p.m. Sunday).
• Judging for the traditional cooking contest starts at 11:45 a.m. Saturday. In addition, the Chopped Cooking Contest starts at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Shields Elementary School gym. The public is welcome.
• Former White Sox and Cubs pitcher Steve Trout will appear from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. The Sugar Grove Fire Department plans a Touch-a-Truck event at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. And former basketball star Kenny Battle will appear from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.
• The Corn Boil 5K run is set for 7:30 a.m. Saturday.
• And, of course, food will be served, including the signature dish – corn.
Dee said the opening ceremonies would be an ideal time to head to the festival.
“It’s a great family time to come out,” she said. “You can do the parade and do the ceremonies. … It’s a perfect night out for a family.”
• Al Lagattolla is the news editor of the Kane County Chronicle. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the Web
For more information on the Corn Boil festival, visit www.sugargrovecornboil.org.