LANSING, Ill. (September 30, 2023) – With sunny skies and pleasant temperatures, the Lansing Association for Community Events (LACE) couldn’t have asked for better weather on Friday and Saturday for Lansing’s 10th Autumn Fest.
LACE is the non-profit group that organized Lansing Autumn Fest 2023, which opened at 4 p.m. Friday with all the usual fun and some slight changes. The fest ran again on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Timeless traditions and new experiments
“Jennie Polley, Lynnie Cartwright, and I met multiple times this winter brainstorming ways to make the 10th Autumn Fest better than ever,” said LACE Co-Chair Jeannie McCall. “We decided to make Fox Pointe even more inclusive. We eliminated the usual Marketplace up and down Henry Street and changed it to Market in the Park. We invited eight of our top vendors into Fox Pointe to be open throughout the twenty active hours of Autumn Fest.”
Along with the eight market vendors were a dozen food trucks and booths. Along the food corridor, attendees enjoyed a wide variety of festival food and more, including ribs, panini sandwiches, tacos, ice cream, hot dogs, kabobs, pretzels, fried veggies, egg rolls, elephant ears, and more.
Vendors and volunteers
Andrew Harootunian, Adult Outreach Coordinator at the Lansing Public Library and Lisa Korajczyk, Library Director, were there to show off the new “Book Bike” that was filled with candy and informational brochures rather than books. “The Friends of the Library helped pay for it,” said Korajczyk. “We had seen them throughout the country and figured it would be good for outreach to get a book bike.”
Its next appearance will be at Village Hall on October 5 from 5 – 6 p.m. for Banned Books Week.
Ruth Cook and Annmarie Aud were two of the many volunteers that worked the Fox Pointe grounds in different capacities Friday evening. The duo sat at the entrance to the pavilion selling water, pop, popcorn, and glo-necklaces. This year about 60 adult volunteers and over 100 youth volunteers from TF South High School and Heritage Middle School signed up to help.
Also volunteering at the fest were two new members on the 14-member LACE board, Tim Sullivan and Cassie Breckinridge. “They’re our newest directors and both staff at TF South. We are so please to have that connection to TF South,” said McCall.
“We’re glad to be able to do it”
“We hope everyone has a good time. We have good music, good food, and good beer,” said Pat Leck, a LACE board member who was also one of the original group of volunteers that founded Lansing Autumn Fest. “It’s something we like to do for the village and we like to get volunteers involved. It’s something we needed for a long time and we’re glad to be able to do it.”
Cindy Lopez of Chicago was looking forward to seeing a favorite band, the Together Band on stage on Friday night. “It’s a great fun-filled family-oriented way to kick off the fall season,” she said of the festival that she’s attended several times. “It’s got a lot of entertainment, great food, and it’s the best time to be with family.”
KidZone, pancake breakfast, military tribute
The KidZone was open only on Saturday, and included bounce houses, pumpkin painting, and other games. Both the TF South “Drama Kids” and the cheer team performed, as well Incredible Bats, a show-and-tell time with animals that’s new to Autumn Fest.
Longtime KidZone volunteer Kathy Raspy wasn’t able to help out this year as she was recovering from surgery, but it didn’t keep her from enjoying the music and food. “It’s such a nice way to bring the community together,” she said. “It makes you feel happy.”
A pancake breakfast at the American Legion from 8 – 11 a.m. drew a crowd Saturday morning, and was followed by a Military and First Responder Tribute on the Fox Pointe stage.
“L.A.C.E. is excited to be hosting the 10th Annual Autumn Fest. We once again appreciate all of the support from the community, sponsors, our partners and the Village of Lansing,” said Co-Chair Jenny Polley as the fest started Friday night. “We are excited to have brought our Marketplace inside the fest grounds this year. Our food vendors include some new favorites from the past and some new businesses. The KidZone has some fun acts and activities while the main stage will remain busy all day. It’s only an hour and a half into the fest and it’s obvious the crowd is having a blast.”
Photos from Autumn Fest 2023
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More information about LACE can be found at LansingLACE.com.