News - McHenry County

5 things to do in McHenry County: Rockin’ Ribfest in Lake in the Hills and McHenry’s Fiesta Days

More fireworks also set for Fox River Grove, Johnsburg

Amy Benitez of Spring Grove rides a carnival ride Saturday, July 13, 2013, with her daughter Sydney Benitez, 13, at the Fiesta Days celebration in McHenry.

1. Lake in the Hills’ Rockin’ Ribfest kicks off Thursday with live music, including Tommy DeCarlo, the singer of rock band Boston, and, of course, plenty of ribs.

The festival, which also features a carnival, runs through Sunday at Sunset Park, 5200 Miller Road in Lake in the Hills.

Headline acts this year will include Boy Band Night on Thursday; Kashmir on Friday; and DeCarlo with special guests August Zadra and Jimmy Leahey of the Dennis DeYoung Band, performing a collection of Styx songs, on Saturday. The fest closes Sunday with 7th Heaven.

The cost is $5 for adults and free for military personnel with ID verifying their active status, as well as children 12 and younger accompanied by an adult.

The Rockin’ Ribfest is the “signature fundraising event” for the Lake in the Hills Rotary Club, a service organization made up of business and professional leaders, according to the event’s website. All proceeds from Rockin’ Ribfest go to support the charities supported by the Rotary Club of Lake in the Hills and its charitable projects both locally and internationally.

For information, go to

2. McHenry Fiesta Days kicks off with its third Cask and Barrel Night, a limited-ticketed event, and continues through the weekend with a carnival, live music and fireworks.

The Cask and Barrel Night, scheduled for 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, offers whiskey from more than 40 distilleries and samples of craft beer from local breweries.

The carnival opens on Friday, running 5 to 11 p.m., and then continues 1 to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday at Petersen Park, 4300 Peterson Park Road in McHenry. There also will be Taste of Fiesta Days, free yard games and live music.

The headliners for the Music Fest include Queen tribute band Queen Flash on Friday and country performer Jameson Rodgers on Saturday. General admission is $15 in advance for Friday and $20 for Saturday with prices rising $5 at the gate.

Sunday is free with the Beach Bash – with inflatables, face painting, a dunk tank and games for the kids – running noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Bands begin at 5:30 p.m. and fireworks will cap the evening.

The second weekend moves events to Veterans Park, 3400 Pearl St., McHenry, with the parade marshal ceremony from 5 to 9 p.m. July 14. The Art and Street Fair Runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 16 and 17. The parade is at 1:30 p.m. July 17. The route starts on Main Street, traveling to Green Street and Pearl Street and ending on Riverside Drive.

For information, go to

Fiesta Days opened at Petersen Park in McHenry on Friday, July 11, 2013.

3. More opportunities to see fireworks continue this weekend in Fox River Grove.

In Fox River Grove, festivities begin at 5 p.m. Saturday at Picnic Grove Park, 598 Birch Lane, with concessions by Cary-Grove Jaycees and Fox River Grove Lions along with a variety of food trucks.

The event also will feature a balloon artist and face painter and music from DJ Powers. Fireworks will cap the night.

4. In Johnsburg, the Pistakee Bay Fireworks show will take place Saturday with live music at Oak Park Lounge, 801 W. Oak Grove Road. Admission is free.

For information, go to

5. McHenry County Historical Society and Museum’s 35th annual Heritage Fair will take place 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 10 at the museum, 6422 Main St. in Union.

Highlights are set to include a colossal Garden Glitz plant sale, the annual white elephant sale, a return of a fortified vintage fashion sale, book sale, silent auction, children’s activities, bake sale and a pie-baking contest.

Pies will be sold by the slice immediately after the judging at the Heritage Fair’s bake sale. The grand champion will receive a trophy, and their name will be engraved on a permanent trophy at the museum. For rules, go to

The Heritage Fair Car Show will return along downtown Main Street in front of the museum along with DJ Jose Ramos. As in the past, the free show will feature sports, classic and antique cars. Top cars will receive trophies, including one for Best of Show. A one-of-a-kind, handmade People’s Choice trophy and door prizes also will be presented.

The day also features free admission to the museum and plenty of food from Tacos Express, Boy Scout Troop 153 and the Kettle Corn Cookery.

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