Click to play an audio version of this article —
Perfect autumn weather confirms LACE decision to move event to September
by Melanie Jongsma
LANSING, Ill. (September 26, 2021) – After cold rain in 2019 and a COVID cancellation in 2020, vendors and visitors alike were grateful for sunshine and blue skies during this year’s three-day Autumn Fest. While gusty winds were an issue when the fest opened at 4:00pm on Friday, September 24, crowds filled the main lawn and the pavilion for much of the evening. Saturday’s sun and Sunday’s high-70s temps brought guests from Lansing and the surrounding community — some first-timers, some annual attendees. By the time the fest grounds closed at 5:00pm Sunday, the tally of Autumn Fest guests was in the thousands.
Saturday at Autumn Fest 2021
Day 2 of Autumn Fest 2021 began at the American Legion, where Lansing’s Copper Muggers flipped pancakes to benefit veterans and first responders. The honors continued with an 11:30am Military Tribute, consisting of a presentation of names and photos of Lansing veterans. Organizer Jean McCall had gathered most of the photos in preparation for the 2019 presentation, and she said she was able to add about 30 more veterans this year.
Of special note at the pancake breakfast was the gift of 40 free breakfasts by 13-year-old Lansing resident Jasmine Arnold. Since 2018, Jasmine’s family has been acting as the agent of a mysterious anonymous do-gooder who sends them resources and instructions for the good deeds he wants them to do. (See Random Acts of Kindness in Lansing, a November 2020 article.) The assignments started with Jasmine’s mom, Jen Arnold, but Jen soon began involving her kids. In June, Jasmine received $200 from the mystery benefactor, and she decided, “I wanna help veterans.” She consulted with veterans advocate Maureen Grady-Perovich, and after some discussion Jasmine used the money to purchase 40 pancake breakfast tickets for veterans or first responders.
Musical entertainment on Saturday included Knievel Duo in the pavilion, Rockology Chicago on stage at 5:00pm, and Together Band on stage at 8:00pm.
Autumn Fest 2021 closing day
Autumn Fest re-opened Sunday morning at 10:00am, and business owners in the Marketplace began selling wares. The Kids Zone opened at noon, as did the first on-stage entertainment — students from Visible Music college. At 2:00pm, Cowboy Jukebox took the stage as the last concert of Autumn Fest 2021.
This is the first year that Autumn Fest has been held in September, and LACE Director Debbie Waitekus had expressed hope that the move would improve the chances of good weather for the outdoor fest. With Friday, Saturday, and Sunday all turning out sunny and pleasant, LACE was pleased with their decision — as were, apparently, the thousands of guests who attended Autumn Fest 2021.
Fox Pointe is located at 18138 Henry Street in Lansing, Illinois.