Final Lake Forest Day figures not in, but event deemed ‘success’

The final figures aren’t in, but Lake Forest Day officials are pleased with the results of this year’s revamped festival, held Aug. 5-6.

“There were more parade entrants and it seemed there were more kids along the parade route this year than last year,” American Legion Post Commander Tom Marks said.

When the parade arrived at West Park, the site of the carnival, “it seemed like there were an awful lot of young kids having a great time,” he added.

The carnival company reported ride usage was up, Marks said, and the new party on Wednesday night drew a crowd.

“There was more space and professional musicians, which were two good things,” Marks said.

The American Legion has run the annual summer festival for decades. This year, the Legion offered sponsorship opportunities, a party at the Wednesday night carnival and a VIP tent to offer party-goers different options.

“It was great,” Lake Forest Day chairman Patrick Blake said. “We got real lucky with the weather, nobody got hurt and we had fun.”

Fun was the watchword for the changes made to this year’s event.

“That was really the primary goal: to create an opportunity for everybody to have a lot of fun and enjoy the community as much as possible,” Blake said. “There was a little bit of improvisation here and there and we learned a lot.”

The 2014 Lake Forest Day intentionally focused on local business, offering chances for them to get their name out and meet residents on an informal basis through sponsorships, volunteering at the festival and other opportunities.

Amy Corr, the managing broker of the Lake Forest @Properties office, said her office has enjoyed participating in Lake Forest Day since it opened in 2012. This year her company beefed up its participation as a community sponsor.

“We were thrilled to add this additional support to such a time-honored tradition here in town,” Corr said. “We truly value any way we can support Lake Forest and Lake Bluff, local businesses and the communities we serve.”

While parade participation and business sponsorships were up, final figures will show if the new approach increased raffle ticket sales, beer and food purchases and ride tickets to offset rising expenses of Lake Forest Day.

“We made enough money to stay in business, which is important. We want to continue to keep doing what we’re doing,” Marks said.

The Legion uses proceeds from Lake Forest Day to finance a variety of military and community outreach efforts.

“The Legion has two objectives,” Marks said. “We want to throw a nice party for the people of the city and surrounding area to have a good time and be able to fund all of the charities and support veterans and active-duty personnel.”

Legion-sponsored community activities include Scouts, baseball, the Boys State and Girls State leadership programs and scholarships.

Marks expects to learn more at an upcoming Lake Forest Day debriefing but speculates next year’s event will look pretty much like this year’s.

“Changes will come over time,” Marks said. “We want to meet the needs of the community and work closely with the city of Lake Forest, but I don’t see anything radical happening.”

While the Legion runs the parade and two-day carnival, the city of Lake Forest provides set-up, clean-up and policing.

“It was really a team effort that worked out well,” Blake said.

0 Comments

Do you have the scariest house on the block? Or the cutest kid in costume? Share your Halloween photos with us! Click here to submit them.


Modal