Lake Bluff Block Party Better-Prepared For Crowds
Friday's party kicks off at 5 p.m. with a new layout to accommodate a bigger audience.
Friday’s Fourth of July Block Party will be “like a rock and roll party,” said Deb Dintruff, president of the Lake Bluff Fourth of July Committee.
Take Note Barbershop Quartet will kick off the afternoon with a performance at 5 p.m. followed by two bands, Crooked Moon and Stayin’ Late.
Partygoers also can enjoy a Taste of Lake Bluff, featuring 11 local restaurants, including Alek's, Bangkok Tokyo, Daily Grind, Scooters, Best Wishes Ice Cream, Bluffingtons, Grille No. 43, Luke's, Noodle Bar, Wildflour Bakery and Wisma.
Last year's inaugural block party attracted 5,000, or twice as many as the committee anticipated, according to Dintruff.
“At about 9 p.m., people were dancing and just having a blast on the green,” she said. “The vendors completely sold out. Twelve of us (committee members) migrated toward the fire station and just looked out at everyone and said ‘Wow, we did this.’ Nobody wanted to go home. It was a very rewarding moment.”
Dintruff said they are better-prepared for the crowd this year and expect an even greater turnout with a forecast for a warm and rain-free night.
“Everything was just bigger than anticipated (last year) – more garbage, more bodies needing a place to sit. Bathrooms? Get in line again. We've doubled the number of bartenders, changed the layout and streamlined the drink-purchase operation, and added a ‘Soda Bar’ to the north side of the Green. More portable toilets,” she said.
“Also, we're trying free handouts of small trash bags, hoping people manage their own, and at least get them close and near a trash can. We added a large tent on the Green, to hedge our bets on the weather.”
Dintruff said she hopes people will stick around after the event ends at 11 p.m. to help clean up.
The block party is funded by a committee-run cash bar at the event, as well as by sponsors.
Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital is the title sponsor for the weekend, and further funding for the block party has come from Harris Bank, PNC Bank, Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Patch, Terlato Wines, Advantage Home Health Care and Make It Better Magazine, Dintruff said.
Dintruff said there is no guarantee the block party will become an annual event.
“This year, with the Fourth on a Monday, it was an opportunity to do a Friday-night party again, in the same weekend. There might be mutiny by the committee if I said this was going to be an annual event, but we throw around the idea of doing it again, not necessarily annually,” Dintruff said.