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United Fall Fest draws a crowd in Campton Hills

Sandie Bils and John Masus, both residents of Fox Mill Subdivision, serve food during Saturday's United Fall Fest at the Congregation United Church of Christ.
Sandie Bils and John Masus, both residents of Fox Mill Subdivision, serve food during Saturday's United Fall Fest at the Congregation United Church of Christ.

CAMPTON HILLS – Beer in hand, Elgin resident Teresa Berry sat underneath the food tent at the United Fall Fest in Campton Hills Saturday, watching as her boyfriend and friend warmed up for the bags tournament.

Berry, who lived in Wasco for two years, said she was content drinking, eating and socializing as Steve Kadlec and John Mundt tossed the bean bags.

And, though the seven-hour fest was just beginning, she said it had more attendees than a festival she volunteered at earlier that day in Bartlett.

"I think it looks really good," Berry said.

Organizer Mark Molloy expected a good turnout for the second annual festival held outside the Congregational United Church of Christ.

"Now that the weather is cooperating and word of mouth has spread," he said soon after the festival began at 3 p.m., "I expect a good crowd."

The United Fall Fest was organized by the Congregational United Church of Christ, with the support of Fox Mill Subdivision and the village of Campton Hills.

Admission was free, and food and beverages were available for purchase. Proceeds were to benefit missions and local charities, such as Pottawatomie Habitat for Humanity, CASA Kane County, Tri-City Health Partnership, Tri-Cities Family Services, Elderday Center and St. Charles Shelter Assistance.

It featured live music, a car show, a bags tournament and several activities for kids, including a puppet show, a martial arts demonstration, a magic show, a dunk tank, face painting and an inflatable playground.

Organizers intentionally expanded the kids corner after so many children attended the event last year, Molloy said. He said one attendee told him this was one festival that really caters to families with kids.

"That was nice to hear because that was the intent," he said.

Batavia resident Chrys Lewis said she brought her 8-year-old daughter, Samantha, to the festival after getting an email about it and reading about it in the Kane County Chronicle. She planned to spend a few hours there.

"It is such a gorgeous day," Lewis said as Samantha played on the inflatable playground.

Vicky VanDiver, owner of and head instructor at LaFox Martial Arts, led a tae kwon do demonstration that featured about 30 students, including the 2012 black belt team. She said the festival aligned with her business' mission.

"At LaFox Martial Arts, our goal is to build families through fitness and fun," she said.

After her group's demonstration, students guided kids through activities that used some of the techniques they demonstrated. VanDiver operated the prize table, letting participants choose between jump ropes, footballs and bubbles.

"It's a great afternoon for families and fun," she said.

United Fall Fest was set to end at 10 p.m. Saturday.

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