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Our view: Local festivals need support from area residents

Published: Thursday, May 30, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

Welcome back, Harvard Milk Days!

The 72nd annual version of Harvard’s hometown gala runs Friday through Sunday, kicking off the unofficial start to festival season in McHenry County.

For months, dozens of dedicated volunteers have been working countless hours to make sure Milk Days runs smoothly and festivalgoers have a grand time. That can be said of the more-than-a-dozen local summer festivals that will take place in the county this year.

Among the many festivals and other events to take place in communities across McHenry County in the coming weeks will be America’s Cardboard Cup Regatta (June 22) and the Lakeside Festival in Crystal Lake (July 3-7), Rotary Ribfest (July 11-14) and Summer Sunset Festival (Aug. 30-Sept. 1) in Lake in the Hills, Fiesta Days (July 12-21) in McHenry, Founders’ Day (July 25-28) in Algonquin, the Mozart Festival (July 27-28) and Jazz Fest (Aug. 22-24) in Woodstock, and, of course, the McHenry County Fair (July 31-Aug. 4), also in Woodstock.

As we’ve said in this space in years past, there are many great reasons why area residents should support these local festivals. That includes the volunteers, some of whom undoubtedly are your friends, neighbors, work colleagues, fellow church parishioners or even relatives.

They’re also a great place to catch up with old friends and meet some new ones. They’re usually kid-friendly, with carnival rides and games and other family-friendly entertainment.

Many festivals offer live music played by local musicians. They feature great food and beverages from local restaurants.

And they’re relatively inexpensive and always close to home.

The money you spend at these festivals also stays local. It costs tens of thousands of dollars to put on each of these festivals, so much of the money raised during this year’s events will help to pay for next year’s. And some proceeds go to support local social service agencies or other good causes.

Keep these local festivals in mind when planning your summer entertainment options.

Support local by spending – both time and money – locally.

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