Fall Fest in Gurnee produces miles of smiles
By Jim Newton firstname.lastname@example.org October 5, 2013 11:04PM
This entry in the scarecrow contest featured a Wizard of Oz backdrop. | JIM NEWTON~SUN-TIMES MEDIA
Fall Fest contest results
Best Representation of a Business/Organization: Warren Newport Public Library (Librarian)
Most Creative: Hunt Club K-Care (Angry bird football scene)
Best Use of Theme: AM Care Hunt Club (Football scene)
Best Overall Scarecrow: Gurnee Fire Department (Field Goal Feline Frenzy)
DOGGY COSTUME CONTEST
Scariest costume: Chazz (witch)
Cutest costume: Emily (bee)
Most creative costume: Marzipan (sushi)
Best overall costume: Cookie (pin cushion)
Updated: November 8, 2013 6:19AM
Kids, dogs and even scarecrows were decked out in harvest-themed costumes Saturday as the Gurnee Park District held its annual Fall Fest in a bustling Viking Park.
With storms holding off for the event, which ran from noon to 4 p.m., a healthy crowd enjoyed face painting, hay rides, a petting zoo, and scarecrow- and dog-costume contests. Refreshments including grilled corn, hot dogs and brats were served up by the Gurnee Fraternal Order of Police.
“This is our third year for Fall Fest and attendance today has been amazing,” said Kristi Murray, a recreation manager with the park district. “We have more families this year than last year. We were concerned about the weather, but it worked out.”
While kids took center stage — playing miniature golf, riding an electric train and taking advantage of a face-painting booth — costumed dogs were getting plenty of attention too.
“There are always things for little kids to do. Being in a dog contest is fun for him. He gets to be outside,” Feliece Carabello said of her 11-year-old Westie Sarge, who was dressed as a bucking bronco complete with a rodeo-rider doll on his back.
Carabello and her 19-year-old daughter Sandra entered Sarge in the park district’s Doggy Costume Contest.
“We dress him up for all of the holidays too,” Feliece said.
Inside a pen at the petting zoo, two-year-old Melissa Corder was surrounded by sheep interested in the feed she was handing out as father Bob kept an eye on her.
“We came to the springtime festival they had and we had a good time so we wanted to come back for this,” said Corder, a Gurnee resident. He noted that the Fall Fest drew an impressive crowd. “There are more people at this one.”
Sharon Bechtel, visiting relatives in Gurnee while on a trip from Grass Lake, Mich., took advantage of Fall Fest to spend time with her three-year-old granddaughter Ella Volante.
Bechtel said they waited in a long line to get Ella a face-painted butterfly tattoo and went on a hay ride.
Ella said her favorite part of the event was “getting my tattoo.”