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Crystal Lake Plaza to host annual party

CRYSTAL LAKE – The second annual Party at the Plaza will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Crystal Lake Plaza, 6500 Northwest Highway.

The free event features face painting, pumpkin painting, a petting zoo, spooky house, merchant window painting and decorating and free food and samples from some of the shopping center’s merchants, including Pinemoor Pizza, Mr. Cake, Julie Ann’s Frozen Custard, The Forrest restaurant, Las Cazuelita and New Balance. It will also feature about 600 local pumpkins, organizers said.

Star 105.5 will broadcast live from the event from noon to 2 p.m. There will also be a DJ. State Farm’s Good Neighbor Bear and New Balance’s Newbie, a giant shoe, will be available to pose for photos.

H&R Block will be sponsoring a bake sale with all proceeds going to support breast cancer research. Animal House Shelter will be on site with pets ready for adoption.

The event is hosted by shopping center owner Madison Corporate Group and the Plaza Merchants Association, said Katie Van Diggelen, the association’s president.

Last year’s Party in the Plaza drew more than a 1,000 people and coincided with the re-opening of the Crystal Lake Plaza after a $2 million, year-long renovation project that transformed Route 14 shopping center into a fresh retail destination.

“Besides being free, it’s so much fun,” Van Diggelen said. “Everyone gets really into it and dresses up in costumes. It’s a great time.”

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