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Columnist
Let's hear it for the Algonquin public works guys
By Amy Mack | Daily Herald Columnist

Visitors are silhouetted against hot air balloons at last year's Glow Show fundraiser.

 

Mary Beth Nolan | Staff Photographer

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Published: 6/20/2008 12:06 AM | Updated: 6/20/2008 6:25 AM

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If anyone asked Algonquin's riverfront residents who should be grand marshal of this year's Founders' Days parade, I'm pretty sure they'd say the village's entire public works crew.

Those staffers spent many back-breaking hours in recent days, filling and delivering sandbags to riverfront residents to help them safeguard their homes and possessions from rising river waters. And that's on the heels of brutal winter duty.

"Village of Algonquin folks really do deserve a lot of credit for helping us," resident Mark Korczyk said as the third flood in less than a year threatened his lower Fox neighborhood. He said he and his neighbors truly appreciate the assist.

No wake!

Mark and all waterway residents would appreciate our help with something else these days as high waters lap at their shorelines. Please pass the word that the Fox River and Chain O' Lakes are closed -- that means no boating at all right now. As Mark and his neighbors watched with frustration last weekend, two boats filled with people sped past, creating wakes that pushed the water another six feet into their yards. Even if there were patrol boats on the lower river -- there aren't -- they can't be everywhere. Maybe those boaters really don't realize what harm they're doing. Will you help pass the word?

On deck

Now that the skies have cleared, we can all get down to some other serious business -- that would, of course be the Cubs-Sox series this weekend. Or Sox-Cubs, depending upon your point of view. Bob Cozza and the fine folks at Penny Road Pub invite us to come help celebrate the year's longest day (Saturday) at their Summer Solstice Outdoor Music Festival. As you wait for that sun to finally set, you can enjoy plenty of fine tunes, food, drinks, prizes and … what else? … Cubs vs. Sox bean bag contests. It starts at noon at the pub, 545 Penny Road, South Barrington, and goes into the wee hours.

Up, up and away!

Lots of other folks are hoping this weekend really is the start of summer, one where the winds also wind down. Weather permitting, grab a blanket or some chairs and head to Elgin's Festival Park Saturday for a close-up view of hot air balloons at the Fox River Festival of Balloons, which links with "The Taste of Elgin" to offer a fun night out. Live music starts at 4 p.m. and the "Glow Show" -- with balloons lighting up to music -- is at dusk. Festival Park is at 132 S. Grove St. It's a fundraiser for the Community Crisis Center, which serves victims of domestic violence.

Family fun

Or trek over to Cary for their annual Cary Days, a family festival featuring carnival rides, food, games, music and more, which continues at 6 p.m. today. The always-popular car show is from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and fireworks will bring in the crowds at dusk Sunday. Sponsored by the Cary-Grove Jaycees and Algonquin Township, the festival is at Lions Park on Silver Lake Road in Cary. Go to www.carydays.com for details. Enjoy!