- Posted by Barrington Hills
- On October 2, 2020
THE 8th ANNUAL
THE HILLS ARE ALIVE FALL FESTIVAL:
A FAMILY FAVORITE ONCE AGAIN
The last bales of straw have gone and all that remains are the fall decorations dressing the village hall entryway, welcoming residents and visitors alike. A great time was had by all at the 8th Annual The Hills Are Alive Fall Festival. This year was a year of “firsts.”
This was the first time the Fall Festival was held on Village Hall grounds, which proved to adequately accommodate the scaled-down fest due to social distancing guidelines. Attendance was a steady stream of people throughout the afternoon “happy to be outside doing something.” Approximately 350 attendees enjoyed the fall breeze; a clear, bright, sunny day; the tang of the BBQ; the sweet notes of sugary delights; and responsibly distanced entertainment.
This was the first year we had an electronic greeter, so-to-speak: The Klean Tunnel. Resident and CEO, John Allegretti of Naturally Klean, sponsored The Hills Are Alive Fall Festival by bringing his innovative technology for sanitization. The Klean Tunnel automatically took entrants’ temperatures, dispensed hand sanitizer and misted folks with an FDA/EPA approved antimicrobial.
The 2020 Census was a first-time sponsor of The Hills Are Alive by donating masks reminding visitors to “make it count”. The last day to “Be Counted” is October 5, 2020. Visit 2020census.org.
First time performing at The Hills Are Alive Fall Festival was Ivy Noemi (singer, songwriter and musician) who was welcomed by fairgoers demonstrating their admiration by “movin’ to the groovin’”. Ivy kept the crowd engaged with her renditions of genre favorites, connecting with enthusiasts of all ages.
The Village was happy to welcome for the first time Stillman Nature Center who brought live exhibits in its presentation of Birds of Prey. A variety of owls, hawks and falcons were available to be seen up close (or as close as possible) as presenters educated the public on the variety of habitats, food, and nesting sites.
This year’s festival brought the first Baggo Tourney which generated $100 for the Barrington Township Food Pantry. The team of residents Arnold Cernik and Martin McLaughlin won the tourney and have graciously donated their winnings to the Food Pantry. Tied for second place was resident Brian Cecola with Jack Johnson and resident David Stieper with Steve Miner. A total of more than $300 will be donated to the Barrington Food Pantry, the balance resulting from the straw bale donations.
While some things were new at the Fest, some things remained the same–and gratefully so. Squeals of delight came from the children who chased Glowby the Bubbler’s soapy creations and waited for more after popping the giant-sized marvels.
People of all ages eagerly claimed their straw bales early to get a front-row seat for the chance to feel the scales and hear the tales from the always popular Scales ‘n Tales Traveling Zoo. Among the animals that wowed the crowd was Fiona the Armadillo, Xena the Sloth, Prince Charming the Giant Toad and Julius Squeezer the Boa Constrictor.
Many thanks to SOUL Harbor Ranch for bringing Faith and Luna, mini therapy horses, which corralled the affections from both children and adults alike.
Heybeck’s Meat Market and Gourmet Catering and The SweetSpot didn’t disappoint. Attendees enjoyed the succulent grilled fare and complemented their lunch with a treat from The SweetSpot! Children left the fest with kites and bubbles in hand and a hop, skip and a jump of joy.
We are continually grateful to all who made this fest possible: our donors, sponsors, volunteers and most of all the visitors who joined us that afternoon, for a chance to get out, experience an afternoon of “normalcy”, and enjoy our valued open spaces. Until next time, know that the Hills Are Alive and can still be enjoyed. See you in 2021!