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Heritage Fest set for July 13 in downtown

LEMONT – Lemont’s 29th annual Heritage Fest is fast approaching and event coordinators are boasting that this year’s event will be something special.

The event will be from 4 to 11 p.m. July 13 in downtown Lemont. Visitors are invited to walk through the fest at little to no charge. Donna Pecina, special events and media coordinator for the village, said this year’s event has several special touches.

“It’s been a part of the history here for a long time,” Pecina said. “I’ve been here 18 years and [the fest] just keeps getting bigger and better.”

Among the additions to this year’s event will be a musical focus on local youth acts, which will perform during the first portion of the fest. Many of the groups, such as The Hound Dogs, were scouted for the event at open mic nights throughout the area.

Pecina said the young musicians recently performed at an open mic hosted by the Historical Society.

“The Historical Society was really impressed with [The Hound Dogs] and thought they might be a great fit for the fest,” Pecina said. “We’re drawing a lot of people from open mics, so you’ll hear a lot of young and local groups before some of the other acts come on.”

Also on the lineup is Infinity, a classic rock tribute band. This will be the first time the Heritage Fest hosts Infinity. Pecina said the group has generated a lot of excitement as residents look forward to hearing the band perform.

Having been around for so long, there are many long-standing traditions that will continue at this year’s fest, Pecina said. Face painting and the car smash for children are among the activities residents will recall from previous years. The dunk tank also will return with Mayor John Egofske being one of the dunkees along with other village and park district officials.

“As one of the oldest communities in the state with a downtown listed on the National Register of Historic Places, our history runs very deep, which is evident throughout the downtown,” Egofske said in a statement. “We encourage visitors to not only enjoy the numerous street activities, but to visit the many unique, family-owned restaurants and businesses in the downtown. Heritage Fest is the perfect event for a relaxing, fun-filled day for the entire family to enjoy.”

Pecina said above all else the fest aims to bring the community together, helping neighbors get to know neighbors and to spend time in the community. She echoed the mayor’s sentiments, saying the fest is a source of great pride for the historic community.

With food vendors, activities, restaurants, new rides and more space than previous years, Pecina said the fest is something everyone is looking forward to.

“Every group is welcome. We’ve really got a lot of stuff, and all I can say is we’re excited,” Pecina said. “We really outdid ourselves this year and with next year being the 30th anniversary of the fest, I can’t imagine what the future holds.”

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