Wilmette’s Summerfest brings the fun
Wilmette resident Marcia Heeter is pleased to have gotten someone to sign up for the Go Green Wilmette Power Program at Wilmette Summerfest on Saturday in Wilmette. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 20, 2012 6:37AM
WILMETTE — A rainstorm that rolled in Saturday afternoon for a few hours didn’t dampen the spirits of fest-goers who attended Wilmette’s second annual Summerfest to enjoy fun, food and entertainment for all ages.
A first-ever classic car show, music performances, an art fair and even a “pet fest” were all part of the festivities at this year’s event, which was put on by the Wilmette/Kenilworth Chamber of Commerce.
Despite the brief rain session, the weather was otherwise warm and sunny as fest goers enjoyed visiting with local vendors and spending the afternoon sampling cuisine from nine nearby restaurants at the Taste of Wilmette.
The sidewalk sales, a main part of last year’s festival, featured Chamber members from downtown Wilmette, Plaza del Lago on Sheridan Road and on Ridge Road offering special discounts to shoppers.
More than 100 vendors occupied tents at the festival, some offering goodies like jewelry and handbags for sale and others offering information about services and community events.
A group of volunteers from “Go Green Wilmette” kept cool under the shade of a tent as they promoted the program, which encourages residents to support renewable energy by enrolling in Wilmette’s Individual Choice 100% Green Power Program.
“A lot of people have come up to use because they’re confused about renewable energy options, and we’re here to educate them and show them how to sign up,” said Heidi Troester, a volunteer with Go Green Wilmette. “We’ve had a lot of people stop by and show interest in the program.”
Beth Drucker, a volunteer for the American Field Service Intercultural Programs organization, was out talking to families about becoming a host family for an international student who will be attending their senior year at New Trier High School this fall.
Drucker said there will be six students coming from different countries to live and go to school in the New Trier community this fall, and the organization was looking for one more family to host one of thestudents for the year.
“We’re out here meeting with families and hoping to find someone willing to host a student,” Drucker said. “These kids come here and learn so much while becoming leaders in their schools.”
On the next street over in the Metra parking lot, car enthusiasts enjoyed the first annual classic car show, which featured 10 classic convertibles, cruisers and sports cars from the 1950’s through 1970’s. Three winners received trophies at the end of the day in the categories of “most complete renovation,” “fan favorite,” and “best in show.”
The rain sent some of the convertibles home early around 2:30, but hundreds of people were able to take in the show earlier in the day.
The music stage entertained the crowd throughout the day Saturday, with performances by local groups like High Street, Rollover, the Lucky Jackson Band, and students from The Rock School in Wilmette and the North Shore Guitar Academy.
The North Shore Harmonizers, a woman’s chorus, and singers Jessica Rae and Stephanie Rogers also performed at the fest.
Adults enjoyed the music while relaxing in the beer tent and sampling brews from Great Lakes Holy Moses, Hofbrau and Berghoff Light beers.
The fest also had plenty of activities geared toward youngsters such as face painting, storytelling sessions, musical performances and soccer and karate demonstrations.