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Proud American Days returning to New Lenox

Updated: July 24, 2013 6:06AM



The Proud American Days Festival in New Lenox will be back as usual at the end of July, with nearly all of its traditional features, but all in a new location.

The four-day fest will be July 25 through 28 in the vacant lot east of Walmart, in the 600 block of East U.S. 30, in cooperation with McVickers Development, developers of that retail center, to use the site of the future Menards.

The village of New Lenox plans to break ground in July on a new police station in the Commons, on Veterans Parkway, using a portion of the space where the Proud American Days Festival traditionally has been held. The new police station will be just east of Old Plank Trail Community Bank, on property once owned by the New Lenox Community Park District, which sponsors the festival.

According to Mayor Tim Baldermann, the park district gave the land to the village in exchange for acquiring the existing police station at 701 W. Haven Ave.

The park district will move its administrative and recreational offices, now housed in the Lions Community Center and the Lions Den, into the police station. It also will have additional programming space, Lotz said.

Park and village officials are not sure if the festival will return to its traditional location at Greenbriar Park near the Commons once the two-story, 30,000 square foot police station has been constructed — a process that could take up to 15 months, beyond next July.

“We are taking it one year at a time,” park district spokeswoman Lauren Lotz said. The festival will have more space in the shopping center location, but will not be able to host its popular mud volleyball tournament.

Instead, there are plans to have a sand volleyball tournament at the Lions Den Park, 520 S. Cedar Road. Registration deadline for sand volleyball is July 19.

There also will be bean bag and pingpong tournaments, in addition to favorite events such as the carnival, entertainment/beer tent, baby contest, big wheel race, car show, craft show, family fun extravaganza, and military tribute.

The entertainment tent will be open from 5 p.m. to midnight Thursday and Friday, noon to midnight Saturday and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday with a $7 cover charge.

Bands include Maggie Speaks on Thursday, 4-Cast and Hairbangers Ball on Friday, Lucky Town and Infinity on Saturday and Stellar Road on Sunday, with no cover charge on Sunday.

Carnival games and rides will be open 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, noon to 9 p.m. Sunday. Wristbands are available for $20, and can be used for unlimited rides on Thursday, from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and are not available on Friday.

Entries for the Battle of Bands entries must be received by July 15. The grand prize winner will receive a one day recording session — eight hours — at Lennon’s Den Studio in Burr Ridge, owned by Grammy-winning songwriter, musician, producer Jim Peterik. (Ides of March, Survivor).

For information, visit www.proudamericandays.org.



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