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Lakeside Festival offers plenty of fun for children

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CRYSTAL LAKE – A highlight for children Saturday at Crystal Lake’s 33rd annual Lakeside Festival was the Kids Ice Cream Eating Contest.

Four from the 7 and under and 8- to 12-year-old divisions were deemed winners after gobbling down three large scoops of ice cream. They received a gift card for a free pint of ice cream once a month for a year from Kaleidoscoops in Crystal Lake.

One of the winners of the 7 and under division, Gretchen Fuerholzer, knew exactly how she was going to use her prize: She plans to get a pint of her favorite Superman ice cream every month. Gretchen was a first-time contestant who participated in the contest for a very simple reason.

“I like ice cream!” Gretchen said. “I got three brain freezes when I was eating it.”

Gretchen’s brother, Max, chose not to participate in the contest because he said he was scared he wouldn’t be able to go on the Zero Gravity ride after eating the ice cream.

Gretchen’s parents, Jennifer and Scott, longtime residents of Crystal Lake, said they have been coming to the Lakeside Festival for years because it has become a tradition.

Children also enjoyed face painting, temporary tattoos, carnival rides and a Kids Bike Parade at the festival.

The proceeds from Lakeside Festival go to the Lakeside Legacy Foundation to support the Dole Mansion and the programs offered there.

“The Dole Mansion survives on the generosity of the people of the community,” said the foundation’s Advancement Coordinator Erin McElvoy. “Coming to the festival helps to sustain local history and fund existing and new programs for the arts offered at the Dole.”

Guided tours of the Dole Mansion are available today from 2 to 6 p.m. Proceeds from this year’s festival will help pay for the fall opening of The Listening Room, an intimate 90-person venue that is in construction on the south end of the property. The venue is intended for music performances, readings and plays.

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