LEMONT – For 27 years, the Lemont Heritage Fest has been bringing area folks together to celebrate their historic village in a day of food, music and fun.
This year's festival on Sept. 2 promises more of the same and then some, because this year, to honor the 20th anniversary of the village’s iconic clock in Budnik Plaza, a special celebration is set for 4 p.m.
“The clock is a very important part of the village’s history,” said Donna Pecina, Lemont marketing/events coordinator. “We will pass out cookies in celebration.”
The day’s festivities start at 2 p.m. with the 67th annual Keepataw Parade along Main and Illinois streets, followed by Heritage Fest at 3 p.m. lining Stephen, Canal and Front streets.
An exciting addition for kids’ entertainment this year is Jim & Jayne from ScribbleMonster, acclaimed by National Public Radio and Parenting Magazine, who are regulars on Sirius XM’s Kids Place Live and have appeared at Lollapalooza and literally millions of streams on Pandora, iTunes and Spotify.
“Their show is a lot of fun for the younger set,” Pecina said.
Another new feature adults will appreciate is a beer tent from Heritage Fest sponsor Pollyanna Brewery, where three different craft beers will be available.
“The neat thing is we will have Heritage Fest souvenir mugs available,” Pecina said.
She added there is something for every age group.
"Young and old alike are welcome to play bingo from 3 to 6 p.m.," Pecina said. "Also, one of our traditions is that the Historical Society will be doing their vintage photos again. People can pose in old-time clothing for a photo portrait by a professional photographer. It’s kind of a neat thing to do as a family.”
Food vendors will be in the streets, and local restaurants will be open as well. Commercial vendors will be selling an assortment of items, from clothing, jewelry, scarves and bags to soaps and candles.
Musical entertainment includes Johnny Russler and the Beach Bum Band, local band Petty Cash and headliner Stephen Neal, a rising star who’s opened for big-name artists like Chris Young and Joe Nichols.
Just a few of the many kids’ activities include face painting, black ops obstacle course, extreme air, tidal wave zip line, smash the car, miracle express train, pony rides, whirlybird, giant slide, army trucks, dunk tank and craft.
“What remains true to Heritage Fest is the involvement and support from our business community and the organizations that participate to continue to make it a success,” said Lemont Community Relations Manager Linda Molitor, who estimates several thousand attend the yearly event. “It’s an event we look forward to each year to give something back to the residents and to attract visitors so they, too, can experience Lemont.”
If you go
WHAT: Lemont Heritage Fest
WHEN: 3 to 11 p.m. Sept. 2
WHERE: Downtown Lemont
3 to 4 p.m.: Jim & Jayne of ScribbleMonsters
3 to 6 p.m.: Bingo at Budnik Plaza
3 to 7 p.m.: Kids' entertainment and activities
3:30 to 5:30 p.m.: Old-time photos
4 p.m. Budnik Clock’s 20th anniversary celebration
4 to 6 p.m.: Johnny Russler & The Beach Bum Band
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.: Petty Cash
9 to 11 p.m.: Stephen Neal