ST. CHARLES – A diverse festival that debuted in St. Charles in 2013 returns this weekend with expanded offerings.
The Festival of the Horse and Drum will be Saturday and Sunday at the Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall Road in St. Charles. The event is billed as the country’s only multicultural, multimedia equestrian festival.
“We’ve very eclectic – there’s something for everyone,” said Lisa Diersen, festival founder and creative director.
The festival will be divided up into special sections, including an equine abilities expo, a model horse show, a cowboy town, a kids corral and the Horse-A-Palooza stage with live music.
In the war horse history fest section, the event for the first time will have up to five re-ennactment groups coming, covering periods such as the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. Festivalgoers can vote for their favorite re-enactor, and that group will win a $500 cash prize, Diersen said.
This year, the Equus Film Festival will be at the fairgrounds during the two-day event instead of the Arcada Theatre. Diersen said there are up to 44 different selections to screen, from feature-films to trailers and music videos.
Attendees will get a glimpse of Horses of Honor, a public art installation of life-size statues of Chicago’s Mounted Patrol Unit horses designed by local artists.
Up to 100 horse statues will be on display in Chicago from September through November, and one of them will be painted at the festival, Diesen said.
Also premiering this year is a salsa dancing contest Saturday and Sunday, sponsored by Muchacha Salsa.
“There’s nothing else like this anywhere. Even if you don’t like horses, there’s food and music,” Diersen said.
If you go
• What: 2014 Festival of the Horse and Drum • When: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday • Where: Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall Road in St. Charles • Cost: Adults $15, children 6 to 15 years old $7, children 5 and younger are free. Equus Film Festival admission is an additional $2. • Information: Call 630-524-0088 or visit www.festivalofthehorseanddrum.com.