Festival of the Little Hills -- August 20-22
Monday, August 16, 2010
Festival of the Little Hills (www.festivalofthelittlehills.com) kicks into high gear at 4p on Friday. You may not know this, but the festival began in 1971 when the city of St. Charles opted to celebrate its former 200th anniversary; the original festival featured summer picnics and community-wide, family-friendly contests, covering a mere four-block area.
Today, Festival of the Little Hills encompasses Main Street from Monroe to Boonslick as well as the parks. The 2010 festival will include more than 360 crafters from more than 30 states. Visitors will find everything from wood carving to jewelry, and pottery to clothing. For your easy reference, here's a rundown of festival highlights:
Opens at 4p on Friday, Aug. 20. Official hours are: 4-10p on Friday, 9:30a-10p on Saturday and 9:30a-5p on Sunday.
This festival, in its 39th year, typically draws some 250,000 attendees over the three-day period; given excellent weather conditions during the past two years, crowd estimates were closer to the 300,000 mark.
There will be three designated shuttle parking lots taking fair goers to the festival grounds. The shuttles run to and from Duchesne High School, 2550 Elm Street; St. Charles West High School, 3601 Droste; and the Family Arena, 2002 Arena Parkway.
This festival isn't just about shopping and eating; the line up of local and regional bands, includes: the Arbogast Band, Bells of Joy, Bob Hanna Jubilee, Gateway Jazz Quartet, the Municipal Band, Red Sky Junkies, Reelfoot, Salty Dawgs, Stray Bullets and Trixie Delight.
Fun for Kids:
As in the past, a free Kids' Corner will be positioned behind the main stage; the festival partners with staff and volunteers from the Foundry Art Centre to offer children arts and crafts projects, as well as face painting, and free Pepsi.
The festival provides a fund-raising component for more than 40 nonprofit organizations in the St. Charles area. These nonprofits and their volunteers help staff the food booths, and also provide physical labor, trash collection and grounds-keeping for the event. Even though these groups are not professional food vendors, all have been approved by the St. Charles County Department of Community Health and the Environment.
Support our Troops:
For the first time this year, CHAMP -- Citizens Helping Military Personnel, will offer attendees the opportunity to write short notes and well wishes to be included in Care Packages sent from St. Charles County in support of our U.S. military. These care packages are sent to soldiers from St. Charles County on a monthly basis, including military personnel who have a connection with someone in the County (i.e., a friend, child, grandchild, etc.). These care packages contain a small piece of home, and provide a welcome thank you and measure of support while our local military personnel are away from family members and friends.
While you're at the festival, don't forget to pick up a copy of the 2010 Christmas Traditions brochure...this year's guide is hot off the press, and will be strategically positioned throughout the event!
FYI - TROLLEY: Due to the heavy volume of visitors, street closures along Main Street and traffic congestion during the Festival of the Little Hills weekend, the St. Charles Trolley will NOT operate Saturday, August 21 and Sunday, August 22. On Friday, August 20, it will be off streets by 4p (since Main St. is closed Friday, Trolley will be going both directions along Riverside Drive).