KANEVILLE - Otto Rizzi didn't begin his Saturday intending to take part in an ice cream eating contest.
But when Rizzi, 8, of Kaneville, learned of the approaching contest from a friend, the thought of eating as much ice cream as he could, as fast as he could, had a certain appeal to it.
"I just did it for fun," Rizzi said. "My friend, Chuck, told me about it about 30 minutes before it started.
"And then I really wanted to play."
Saturday afternoon, Rizzi walked away with a certificate securing him a free Kitchen Sink ice cream sundae from Colonial Cafe, as one of the winners of the ice cream eating contest, hosted by Colonial, during Kaneville Fest.
The three-day-long community festival in the small town in southwestern Kane County was scheduled to wrap up Saturday night with a traditional barbecue dinner, concert and fireworks show.
The festival kicked off Thursday, Aug. 22, with a library book sale and continued Friday with community garage sales and an outdoor movie at Hill's Country Store. Kaneville Village President Pat Hill, owner of the store, estimated about 100 people turned out for the screening.
Hill, who served as lead organizer for the festival, said she expected a crowd of about 500 people Saturday night for the dinner and fireworks show.
And in a village with a population of a little less than 500, Hill said, that continues to be a remarkable achievement.
"It's what we normally see for an event like this," Hill said. "It's just a great, old tradition that we just like to keep going."
She noted the event draws visitors from several nearby communities, including Elburn, Sugar Grove, Hinckley and Big Rock, and the surrounding countrysides.
Jon Diaz, who lives between Elburn and Kaneville, said his family regularly has visited Kaneville Fest each year for more than a decade - at least to eat dinner and watch fireworks.
"We're always here for Kaneville Fest," Diaz said. "It's a nice time, mainly because it always seems like the town is so into it."