5 things to do in McHenry County: Bands, BBQ and Barbie parties

Join in on festivities centered around music to BBQ to ice cream this weekend

George Lucas with Rolling Smoke BBQ serves up an order of pork belly cakes during the first night of the 10th annual Blues, Brews & BBQ on Friday, August 20 at Petersen Park in McHenry. The event, which runs through Sunday, featured live music, barbecue and drinks. Ryan Rayburn for Shaw Local

1. Bands, Brews and BBQ: Bands, Brews and BBQ returns to McHenry’s Petersen Park Friday through Sunday. Dozens of food items such as barbecue ribs, pulled pork, funnel cakes and corn on the cob will be sold by 11 food vendors. Attendees can vote for their favorite vendors in three categories: best pulled pork, best ribs and best sauce. There also will be plenty of beer, wine, cocktails and nonalcoholic beverages at the festival.

Live music performances and raffles will be part of the festival all weekend. The event is hosted by the McHenry Area Rotary Club and 100% of the proceeds will go to charities such as Kids in Need McHenry County, McHenry Riverwalk Shoppes and more.

Daily tickets cost $15 at the gate or a three-day pass is $25 at the gate. VIP ticket options are available. For details, visit mrbbb.com.

2. Take a trip to “ice cream land”: Julie Ann’s first-ever Ice Cream Fest will be from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday at Crystal Lake’s Main Beach. The beach will be transformed into “Ice Cream Land” with themed areas such as Kong Cove and Blue Moon Bay.

More than five vendors will be selling samples of ice cream and some flavors will be exclusive to the event. An ice cream-eating contest, a live performance by Paul’s Dead, crafts, games and a scavenger hunt will fill the evening. Tickets can be bought online for $8 or $10 at the gate. Children younger than 5 are admitted free. Visit icecreamfest.co for details.

3. Celebrate Elvis: The Volo Museum will host an Elvis celebration Sunday with a live performance, raffle and a showing of one of Elvis’ cars.

The rare pink and white and custom-built Cadillac station wagon Elvis ordered in 1979 will be on display. The museum will have a raffle for the chance to win a ride in the car with Elvis impersonator Travis Morris. Morris will give a live tribute performance from 2 to 4 p.m. and the raffle ticket will be pulled after the show.

The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. The event is free with regular museum admission and free for members. For information, visit volocars.com/the-attraction/elvis-celebration.

4. Battle of the bands: A competition of local bands and artists will be this weekend at the Raue Center in Crystal Lake. The winner of this year’s battle will be determined at 7 p.m. Saturday; semifinal competitions will be Thursday and Friday.

This year’s performers are Them Shultz Girls & Friends, Lake Drive, Concept_Mix, Brianna “B-Love” Clay and JJ Smith. The winner will receive $1,000 and a chance to perform their own show on the Raue stage.

Tickets for the semifinal shows cost $5 and tickets to Saturday’s final competition show cost $20. For information, visit rauecenter.org/battle-of-the-bands.

5. Barbie party: Visit Crystal Lake’s Quarry Cable Park for a Barbie Beach Party starting at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Sip on themed drinks, take a photo at a life-size Barbie doll box and play a game of beach volleyball. DJ Teknik will provide music during the event.

Attendees are encouraged to wear their best “Barbiecore” outfits since the best dressed will win a prize. Tickets cost $5 and children younger than 2 are admitted free. For details, visit thequarrycablepark.com/upcoming-events.

• Would you like your event included in this weekly feature? The first step is submitting your events to the Northwest Herald’s community calendar at shawlocal.com/northwest-herald/local-events/ where they are then considered for inclusion in this feature.

Editor’s note: The photo caption on this article has been updated to reflect that it is a file photo from 2021.