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Few changes at Schaumburg's Septemberfest
By Eric Peterson | Daily Herald Staff

Schaumburg's municipal center grounds come alive each Labor Day weekend for Septemberfest.

 

Daniel White | Staff Photographer

Carnival goers are whipped around on the "Power Surge" ride at Schaumburg's annual Septemberfest carnival.

 

Mark Black | Staff Photographer

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Published: 3/6/2009 5:06 PM | Updated: 3/6/2009 5:08 PM

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Schaumburg's Septemberfest and most of its other 2009 special events will go on with only minimal changes despite new economic constraints.

Septemberfest has been funded separately from other village costs with the aim of breaking even financially.

While that's still true, some changes are being made to anticipate a downturn in corporate sponsorships, Village Manager Ken Fritz said.

Des Plaines and Hoffman Estates have scaled back some aspects of their Fourth of July celebrations, while Arlington Heights has eliminated its post-Thanksgiving ChristkindleMarkt event. But Schaumburg is hoping to keep its big, three-day Labor Day weekend festival as close as possible to what participants remember.

The biggest changes will be cutting fireworks displays from three nights to one and charging $1 each for wristbands designating who may drink alcohol on festival grounds, Schaumburg Special Events Coordinator Roxane Benvenuti said. The wristbands previously were free.

In the past, an average of 25,000 wristbands were given away yearly, but Benvenuti expects that will drop now that there will be a fee. But organizers hope it does bring in some additional revenue.

"We want to set ourselves up to be successful," she said.

Schaumburg wants to keep the famous musical acts it's attracted each night of Septemberfest, with the hope that bands are recognizing how much more budget-conscious the world has become.

Last year's performers, for example, were Loverboy, Richard Marx and Lonnie Brooks.

"We're hoping to find bands similar to last year, but hopefully for a little less," Benvenuti said.

The village's three other major events - the Prairie Arts Festival in May, Christkindlesmarkt in November and the Summer Breeze concert series done in cooperation with the Schaumburg Township District Library - are expected to remain unchanged, Fritz said.

However, the outdoor summer movie series in Town Square, which began last year, will be discontinued for financial reasons. While not as long-standing a tradition as other events, its popularity made its elimination unfortunate, Fritz said.

"It's just one of those little things that make Schaumburg Schaumburg," he added.

Another change is that the accomplished Schaumburg Youth Symphony Orchestra will not make an overseas tour this year as it normally would have, Fritz said.