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Friday's Mane Event kicks off big Million weekend
By Sheila Ahern | Daily Herald Staff

Hundreds of people crowd Vail Avenue in downtown Arlington Heights Friday for a Mane event held in a recent year.


Daily Herald file photo, 2005

Ariele Ebacher, of Chicago, entertained in 2006.


Daily Herald file photo, 2006

Avery Gorey, left, and Sophia Brown, then 3 and 2, respectively, stop to pop bubbles during last year's Main Event.


Daily Herald file photo, 2007

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Published: 8/7/2008 12:06 AM

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The only missing from the annual Mane Event will be the winner's circle.

The pre-party for the Arlington Million will be held Friday from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. in downtown Arlington Heights, at Vail Avenue and Campbell Street. The free event is open to the public.

The Mane Event - also known as the "Million Dollar Block Party," previews the Arlington Million, the most highly anticipated race of the year at Arlington Park, since it draws horses and racing fans from around the globe.

The event was created in 2000 to engage village residents in the excitement surrounding the Arlington Million and to solidify the village's partnership with Arlington Park. The event started with Ponies on Parade, Arlington Heights' take on Chicago's cows, and has expanded to include an array of attractions.

The Metropolis Youth Symphony will perform from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and "Arra," a classic rock band, will take the stage from 8 to 10:30 p.m. The Event also will feature a business expo, with more than 60 local businesses setting up displays and booths. Local restaurants will sell food and drinks and beer and wine will be available.

For children, there will be pony rides, a moon jump, balloon artists, an inflatable "Pony Racer" course and other activities.

The Arlington Heights Memorial Library's "Reading Railroad" train float will also be displayed. After the event, the float will be auctioned off on eBay with proceeds going to the Friends of the Library.

Free parking is available after 6 p.m. in the commuter surface lots located along Northwest Highway, in the Municipal Garage at Arlington Heights Road and Sigwalt, and the new commuter Parking Lot O, across from the Municipal Garage at Arlington Heights Road and Sigwalt.

For more details about the Mane Event, visit or call (847) 368-5104.