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Maple Park Fun Fest brings in crowds despite the rain

The end of summer was celebrated over the weekend at the annual Maple Park Fun Fest in downtown Maple Park.

Highlights of the two-day festival included a car show, live musical entertainment, food booths and a beer garden, a crafter/vendor show and men’s slo-pitch softball.

Brittany Altepeter, a parade organizer for the festival, said the community turned out in numbers for Maple Park Fun Fest. She said a new feature this year was an MC for the festival.

“He’s been keeping people around with his announcements of what’s coming,” Altepeter said. “That was a thing we didn’t have in previous years.”

Portions of downtown Maple Park traffic were rerouted to accommodate the festival.

The parades were underway Saturday despite some light rain in the forecast.

“The bike parade had, I think, between 40 and 45 kids in it,” Altepeter said. “That’s on the high end. We’ve had some years like 25 kids. Some years we’ve had over 40 kids. So, it was a good turnout for the bike parade.”

The traditional parade had 41 entrants signed up to participate, organizers said.

“It looked like it was going to rain before the parades started, but it held off until afterwards,” Altepeter said.

Altepeter said the parades provided a good show for the spectators lining the streets of downtown Maple Park.

The festival brought in not only residents of Maple Park but also those of surrounding communities.

Buella Metzger of West Chicago said she is glad she decided to come out to the festival. This year was her first time at the event.

“We found it online,” she said. “Also, my niece lives out here. So, she was telling us about festival. So, we came out here to be part of the festival.”

Metzger said the festival turned out to be everything that she imagined it would be.

“They do a car show,” she said. “It’s a nice festival. … It’s just a nice, little small town. [People are] coming out and seeing a lot of cars and a good time.”

Metzger added that she would like to come back to the festival next year, if it fits her schedule.

Elsewhere on the festival grounds, DeKalb resident Alex Siebens was taking in the sight of the classic cars parked along Main Street as part of the event’s car show.

Siebens said it’s annual tradition for him to come out to Maple Park.

“My grandparents used to come here all the time,” he said. “We used to live right down the road. It’s just been a thing I’ve done for a long time. I get to hang with some people, eat food and walk around.”

Siebens said he likes the way the festival has a small-town feel to it.

“I feel like a lot of people here know each other,” he said. “It’s more than just a random festival.”