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33rd Annual Lakeside Festival: Crystal Lake Summer Tradition Returns

Crystal Lake's Fourth of July celebration opens Thursday, June 28, and runs through Sunday, July 1. The volunteer-run festival provides plenty of food, rides, entertainment and special activities for the community.

It's the calm before the party.

Workers from Windy City Amusements Inc. on Tuesday assembled the Tilt-A-Whirl, dragon coaster and other rides in anticipation of the 33rd Annual Lakeside Festival at the Dole Mansion, 401 Country Club Rd., Crystal Lake.

A couple more men quietly strung lighting and electrical cords, and other volunteers were scurrying about the Dole Mansion.

It's a volunteer effort that presents the annual festival benefitting the Lakeside Legacy Arts Park and its mission to foster an "innovative, world-class arts education destination."

Festival proceeds ensure the preservation and protection of the Lakeside Legacy Arts Park and the historic Dole Mansion. And it's all volunteer-driven.

"A lot of people think the festival is run by the city," said Erin McElroy, Advancement Coordinator for Lakeside Legacy. "It's really a combined effort of so many volunteers."

This year, the festival opens at 4 p.m. Thursday, which has been given the theme of "Bad Looking Hawaiian Shirt Day" to get people in the summer party mood. Visitors will have their pick of 17 food vendors selling everything from funnel cakes to deep dish pizza. The beer tent opens, as well. Unlimited carnival ride wristbands will be available from 5 to 9 p.m., according to festival organizers.

A list of all the events and musical entertainment can be found on the Lakeside Legacy's new website: www.lakeside.myriadcs.net.

Admission to the carnival rides and carnival concessions is free. However, attendees pay a $5 admission to enter the "Taste by the Lake" food and beverage tent and music stage arenas. Children 12 and under and active military members are free. Seniors age 65 and older may enter for $2.

Here are just a few of the 2012 Lakeside Festival highlights:

Thursday, June 28, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Unlimited Carnival Rides Wristbands 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Beer Garden and Tropical Drinks

Taste by the Lake

Musical Entertainment

Friday, June 29, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Taste by the Lake

Beer Garden and Tropical Drinks

Carnival Rides

Musical Entertainment

Saturday, June 30, Noon to 11 p.m.

Kids Decorated Bike Parade

Kids Ice Cream Eating Contest

Chicago Sports Team Mascots Tommy Hawk, Staley the Bear, and Benny the Bull Visit

Baggo Tournament

Dole Mansion Tours

Unlimited Carnival Ride Wristbands Noon to 4 p.m.

Taste by the Lake, Beer Garden and Carnival Rides

Sunday, July 1, Noon to 10 p.m.

1 p.m. Fourth of July Parade, along Dole Avenue to festival at Dole Mansion- presented by the Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce and Crystal Lake Lions Club with funding by the city of Crystal Lake. 

Dole Mansion Tours

Unlimited Carnival Rides Wristbands 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Taste by the Lake, Beer Garden, Carnival Rides

Fourth of July Fireworks at Crystal Lake Main Beach, 300 Lake Shore Drive - presented by the city of Crystal Lake in conjunction with the Crystal Lake Park District.

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