Vernon Hills Summer Celebration talks begin
Luke Woodson, 7, gets a fist bump from his dad Jay Woodson during the 2012 Summer Celebration in Vernon Hills. | Brian O'Mahoney~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 28, 2013 1:57AM
VERNON HILLS — While the village’s Summer Celebration is more than seven months away, the planning committee already is busy scheduling next year’s musical attractions.
Village Manager Mike Allison asked trustees during the Nov. 20 village board meeting for the 2013 overall budget to be set between $52,000 and $57,000.
“We need a range of numbers so we know who we can hone in on,” Allison said.
The request was unanimously approved.
“We’re very big on community events,” Trustee James Schultz said. “We provide a lot of in-kind (donations) to the park district for their Rib Fest, we do an Oktoberfest at the train station and put a lot into our July 4 parade. As sales tax revenue comes back, we’re more than happy to invest more into these events.”
The village spent approximately $53,500 on Summer Celebration 2012, a significant bump from $42,300 in 2011 and $37,500 in 2010.
Unwilling to provide names, Allison said the planning committee does have two bands on its radar – one costing about $35,000 and the other around $20,000.
The 2012 headliner was Dave Mason, a founding member of the band “Traffic” and a 2004 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.
One of Mason’s openers was Jamie Lono, a 2007 graduate of Vernon Hills High School who performed on NBC’s hit show “The Voice” earlier this year.
The planning committee is expected to present a short list of bands to choose from during a January board meeting.
To contribute increase the budget for the Saturday night headliner, Allison proposed eliminating bands for Sunday and reallocating that $2,000. Instead, a DJ would play music.
“Attendance drops off significantly around 7 p.m. and that drives the vendors to start closing early,” Allison said. “We thought Sunday could have more of a family feel to it.”
The board agreed and later decided to close the festival at 6 p.m. on Sunday, two hours early.
Fireworks are still in the budget for Thursday night.
The Vernon Hills Summer Celebration attracted crowds as big as 10,000 people during its Saturday nights in the early 2000s.
The budget took a hit during the 2008 economic downturn, but village trustees are slowly rebuilding the attractions.