The city of McHenry and the McHenry Riverwalk Foundation are gearing up for an event to celebrate recent improvements at Miller Point.
Light Up the Night will take place 4 to 10 p.m. Sept.14 at Miller Point, off Riverside Drive adjacent to Boone Lagoon and the Fox River. The evening will include live music, food, artisan and craft vendors and a designated children’s area with face painting, sign painting and science, technology, engineering and math activities by Snapology.
A centerpiece of the night will include the lighting of a variety of fireglobes. There are eight, 36-inch globes that the city will install about three feet off the shoreline on Boone Creek. The globes have wood inside them, which will be lit at dusk and burn for about two hours, according to city documents.
Local businesses and individuals sponsored the globes, which have different themed designs. A small boat parade along the Fox River also is planned.
Food vendors will include Buddyz Pizzeria, D.C. Cobb’s, Johnny & Elle’s Creole Italian Kitchen and Kiera Confections.
Bill Hobson, director of parks and recreation, said that the event would be low-key and a good way to show off the new space.
“The idea was really just to draw awareness to that point,” Hobson said. “It becomes somewhat of a fundraising opportunity for the riverwalk foundation, to reestablish their goal, their traction and their direction.”
The riverwalk foundation announced this third-phase project in January. The plan included the construction of a pavilion at Miller Point and connected the pedestrian bridge on the north side of Boone Creek at Riverside Drive to the Riverwalk on the Fox River at Miller's Dream Marine.
The project was paid for with private donations collected by the foundation. The city approved spending $26,200 for the lighting at Miller Point at its most recent City Council meeting.
The city bought Miller Point, a 2.62-acre lot, in 2012 after a fire destroyed the 1929 Dobyns House and the restaurant in it, leaving it vacant for several years.
The foundation recently launched an online donation program. The nonprofit wants to raise funds for future amenities and construction projects. Interested donors can visit mchenryriverwalk.org/partner-with-us/ to contribute.