Bates: Chamber’s Fiesta Days is time well spent

I am often asked the question, “Why does the McHenry Area Chamber produce an event on the scale of Fiesta Days?” It takes time not only on the part of the chamber staff, but also 350 members and community volunteers. Here are the answers:

• Fiesta Days keeps our dues low. With a large membership, the McHenry chamber prides itself on the ability to maintain an investment rate that even a new business can afford.

• Fiesta Days allows the chamber to offer creative luncheons, networking activities, promotional services and member marketing for free, or at a low cost.

• Fiesta Days allows great visibility for members. Whether as a sponsor, advertiser, committee member or a volunteer, Fiesta Days offers members cost-effective promotion that is hard to beat. .

• Fiesta Days offers growth in leadership. Fiesta Days is a chance to learn communication and management skills gained through working with a team of volunteers.

• Fiesta Days is fun -- not only for our community but for our volunteers who can’t wait to come back year after year to help at Fiesta Days.

There you go. Fiesta Days is good for chamber members. It does take time, but for those who catch the  “Fiesta Days bug,” it is time well spent. 

Fiesta Days begins with Music Fest July 12-14, with Puddle of Mudd, Queensryche and Great White presented by McHenry Harley-Davidson, and Libido Funk Circus. All bands have a great following. Bags and plywood boat contests will be part of this weekend along with the Virtual Harley ride and a new event, Family Fun Day.

The following weekend Fiesta Days invites you back to Concert in the Park honoring Parade Marshal Pete Merkel, Ice Cream Social, Arts and Crafts in the Park, Drum and Bugle Corps Show, parade and sidewalk sales.

Worldwide Traveler will be giving away a three-night trip to Dreams Cancun Resort in Cancun Mexico at 5:45 p.m. on July 14. You must preregister at and be present to win.

Thank you to all our sponsors: Grand Festival Sponsor: Gary Lang Auto Group; Premier Parade Sponsor: Meijer; Parade Sponsors: Brake Parts, Centegra Health System and Medela; Music Fest Sponsors: Charles Herdrich & Son, McHenry Bank & Trust, and Northwest Herald; Entertainment Sponsors: Home State Bank, First National Bank and Meyer Material; Presenting Sponsor of Queensryche and Great White, McHenry Harley-Davidson; Rock N’ Rev Show Sponsor: McHenry Harley-Davidson;

Travel Sponsor: Worldwide Traveler; Diamond Sponsor: Steffan’s Jewelers; Ice Cream Social Presenting Sponsor: Mercy Health System; Ice Cream Social Cone Sponsors: First Midwest Bank and Sears Appliance Outlet; Sunday Sports Sponsor: Chiro One Wellness Centers; Family Fun Day Sponsors: The Chapel and Rex Auto Body; Designated Driver Booth Sponsor: Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital, with Meijer and Platinum Auto Body; Arts and Crafts in the Park Sponsor: BMO Harris Bank; Media Sponsors: STAR 105.5, 95 WIIL Rock, 103.9 the Fox; Ticket Sponsor: 3D Bowl/Sideouts Bar and Eatery.

We also thank our volunteers and the city of McHenry; without them we could not produce Fiesta Days. For locations, contest registrations, times and ticket presale information, visit

• Kay Bates is executive director of the McHenry Area Chamber of Commerce.

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