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Mother Nature Smiles on Harvest Fest

Bad weather misses Burr Ridge, allowing plenty of families to enjoy the annual event.

A pair of Brownies working a carnival game.

“Two tickets—every one’s a winner.”

“Never a loser!”

An excited young girl spotting the pony ride circle.

“Ponies! Ponies!”

A teenage boy at the home run challenge.

“You get two practice swings. Don’t waste ‘em.”

A mom talking to her young son.

“Look at the animals, Jayden. Pet the goat.”

A hot air balloon.

“Whooooooshhhh. Whoooooshhhh.”

These were some of the sights and sounds at the annual Burr Ridge Harvest Fest Saturday afternoon in .

The rain held off, the sun came out, the temperature rose, and a good crowd arrived to enjoy the many games and activities, including a tethered hot air balloon experience.

“It was pretty fun. We went pretty high and all,” said 11-year-old Ryan Grunsgen of Burr Ridge. “It was nice to see the whole park.”

“It was fun,” agreed Nick Incandela, 12, of Elmhurst. “I’ve never been in a hot air balloon before.”

“You know the weather has to be perfect to do a balloon ride,” said Burr Ridge Superintendent of Recreation Lavonne Campbell. “It’s amazing that it’s up.”

The weather forecast had given Harvest Fest organizers cause for concern.

“We thought it was going to be a washout,” Campbell said. “From what we’re hearing there’s hail in Aurora and hail in Northbrook and we’re just this little patch of sunshine and we’re so excited! The parking lots are completely full; the stations are all good. All the volunteers showed up, which is amazing.”

Their hard work paid off as plenty of smiles could be found throughout the park.

“It’s fun,” said Destiny Lewis, 13. “Just all the games and seeing people I haven’t seen in awhile.”

“It’s really good. I like it,” said her friend, Debbie Lupancu, who will be 14 on Wednesday. “My house is like really close, so I always come.”

While munching on some popcorn, Lupancu was asked to name her favorite part of Harvest Fest.

“I like the popcorn,” came her not-too-surprising answer. “And I really like the games.”

The petting zoo was a big hit with the younger crowd.

“I liked it a lot,” said Madison Schlismann, 6, of Homer Glen. “I got to feed the goat.”

“I liked the bunny and I got to pet the chicken,” said 5-year-old Emma Schlismann, also of Homer Glen.

Campbell estimated there were at least 200 volunteers working in the park. They included Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, the Kiwanis Club, the Burr Ridge Community Park Foundation, and about 20 members of the Hinsdale South Key Club.

Sponsors of the Burr Ridge Harvest Festival included Mars Chocolate North America, ETG LLC. of Chicago, R.W. Baird, CNH (Case New Holland), CHT Orthodontics, , Community Bank of Willowbrook, , , Spiroff & Gosselar, Ltd., by and Medlin Communications.

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