NIU’s WNIJ Radio to host free Familia Fest July 13 in DeKalb

Northern Illinois University's WNIJ 89.5 FM Familia Fest set for July 13

DeKALB – Northern Illinois University’s WNIJ 89.5 FM will host a Familia Fest to celebrate family, community and soccer.

The free festival will begin at 8:30 a.m. July 13 at NIU’s “North 40″ area, the corner of Lucinda and Kishwaukee Drive, DeKalb.

Familia Fest features a youth soccer skills clinic, an ages 14 and older adult soccer tournament, family-friendly activities, food and entertainment. The events and announcements will be held in English and Spanish, according to a news release.

“Although soccer is the main event, it’s not the most important reason to attend Familia Fest!” event organizer Laura Anderson said in a news release. “District 428 teamed up with us to create a place for families to enjoy a fun, affordable day out while getting their children registered for school. The idea is, while the kids are out enjoying the many activities we have provided, the parents can sit with an interpreter to get their children registered and get answers to their questions.”

Anderson also is a massage therapist, owner of Create Health Mobility Clinic in DeKalb and creator of the annual DeKalb Day of the Dead celebration.

“Live events are the most meaningful way to build trust and engagement in our community. Plus, they are fun!” WNIJ News Director Jenna Dooley said in the release. “We saw the success of the first annual Day of the Dead celebration and Cinco de Mayo events in the past year in DeKalb and wanted to provide additional ways to celebrate culture in a family-friendly atmosphere throughout the year.”

Attendees also can receive DeKalb School District 428 registration assistance, blood pressure and glucose checks from Greater Family Health and food from the DeKalb County Community Gardens Grow Mobile. Story time, lawn games, dancing, live music and a guacamole-making demonstration will be provided by the DeKalb Public Library.

“To bring families together, it made sense to create an arena to play or watch a sport that means so much to the heart and soul,” Anderson said in the release. “We have an amazing semi-professional soccer team, DeKalb County United, and an awesome NIU soccer team, and we also have amateur players who just love the game. My cousin and godbrother created a team for this tournament, and my family is beyond excited to watch them play!”

Registration is required to participate in the soccer tournament. Volunteers for the festival also can sign up. To register or sign up, visit

“We are looking for help for set-up of the field markings, Main Stage and Kid Zone areas as well as tear down, plus interpreters who can assist families in English and Spanish,” Dooley said in the release. “We will also be looking for folks who can provide a friendly presence to help ensure that the day runs smoothly.”

WNIJ 89.5 FM is one of two noncommercial public broadcasting stations by Northern Public Radio, the broadcast arm of NIU, and provides local, national, international and independent news.

WNIJ Hola is a digital community part of Northern Public Radio, the broadcast arm of Northern Illinois University, that shares news, resources, opinions and events with northern Illinois Spanish speakers.

For information, visit

Northern Illinois University's WNIJ 89.5 FM Familia Fest set for July 13
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