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Algonquin's Founders Days preparation begins

Published: Monday, July 21, 2014 2:17 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 12:13 a.m. CDT
(Sarah Nader –
Don Ericson, owner of Ericson Marine in Algonquin, checks a platform while preparing the pontoons and barges for the Founders Days fireworks. The process involves setting up two platforms, supported by four pontoons, and then testing them to make sure they are not leaking. Founders Days opens Thursday with the fireworks scheduled for Sunday at dusk.

ALGONQUIN – Workers are preparing for the annual Founders Days.

Founders Days is set to begin Thursday at Algonquin Lakes Park with a carnival for children with special needs. A cardboard boat regatta also is scheduled for Thursday and will take place at Riverfront Park.

A Taste of Founders, bags tournament, stand-up paddleboard challenge, carnival, petting zoo and a bike decorating contest are among the other activities planned during the four-day festival.

The annual festival also has bands performing each day.

On Saturday, Routes 31 and 62 will be closed and traffic will be diverted beginning at 10 a.m. for the Founders Days parade.

The parade is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. at Eastgate Drive and Route 62. The parade will go west on Route 62 over the Fox River and then go south on Route 31. The parade will end at Madison Street.

Route 31 will be closed at Edgewood Drive and traffic will be diverted onto Edgewood, a police department news release said.

Only residents of LaFox River Drive, Division Street or Jayne Street will be allowed onto those roads, police said. The annual event will culminate with a fireworks display Sunday.

For the fireworks, Harrison Street will be closed from Route 62 to Edward Street from 5 to 11 p.m. Sunday. No parking of vehicles will be allowed within this section of Harrison Street the day of the fireworks.

No one will be allowed to remain on the Route 62 bridge over the Fox River from 7 to 11 p.m. Sunday. The bridge will be open for pedestrian traffic before the fireworks, police said.

Pedestrians will not be allowed to cross Route 62 at River Road before, during or after the fireworks. All pedestrians will have to cross Route 62 at either Harrison Street or Eastgate Drive, the police news release said.

As part of the preparations, Don Ericson, owner of Ericson Marine, set up the barge from where the fireworks will be fired. The barge was placed into the water Saturday.

"The barge is ready to go," Ericson said. "They want us to be perfect, that's what we'll strive for."

For more information about events go to

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