Fox River Grove rings in 100 years with centennial celebration

Fox River Grove is turning 100 this year, and the village is celebrating its birthday in Lions Park with a carnival, parade and music festival this weekend.

Fox River Grove was incorporated as a village in 1919, making it the ninth village in McHenry County.

The centennial celebration, which kicked off at 6 p.m. Friday, will continue until Sunday. The carnival is open from noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. The music festival Saturday begins at 3:30 p.m. with The Allstars and will feature Gener8R at
5:30 p.m. and Cowboy Jukebox at 7:30 p.m. On Sunday, the music festival begins at 2 p.m. with Bridge and closes out at
4 p.m. with Sixteen Candles.

Village President Robert Nunamaker said people have been organizing the centennial celebration all year.

“The culmination’s here,” he said. “It’s the first time that I can remember that Fox River Grove has had a carnival here.”

With everything to do over the weekend, Nunamaker said, “we’re all going to be exhausted by Monday.”

He said the people running the carnival are delighted to be by the river.

“They think we’re in the most beautiful spot to have a carnival,” Nunamaker said.

Residents also have been anticipating the start of the celebration, Nunamaker said, with people calling the village to ask about the Ferris wheel and what’s happening on the river.

The centennial parade will kick off at noon Sunday. It begins at Beachway Drive and Lincoln Avenue and will continue down Lincoln to Gladys Avenue, ending at Lions Park. Beachway will be closed from 10:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Lincoln Avenue will close from
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the parade, according to the village’s website.

Parking is available in the Fox River Grove Metra parking lots, Village Hall, Algonquin Road School and Greyhill Parking Lot behind Doc Woods. A free shuttle pickup and drop off to Lions Park is available at the Metra lot.

The parade will feature 30 to 40 participants, including the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, which also has a connection to Fox River Grove.

“The guy who wrote the jingle, ‘I’d love to be an Oscar Mayer wiener,’ lived in Fox River Grove,” Nunamaker said. “His family’s still here. That’s actually how we got [the mobile] – it’s very much in demand.”

Nunamaker said he’s glad the centennial happened when he was mayor.

“It’s all about volunteerism in Fox River Grove,” he said. “It’s just fun for everyone.”

Other centennial events this year have included historical tours and a historical baseball game.

The centennial celebration will cap off most of the 100-year events, with the only thing left being a New Year’s Eve party at the Avante Banquet Hall and Conference Center.

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