ELBURN – The team names on Sunday said it all: they were ready to get dirty.
The sixth annual Elburn Days Mud Volleyball Tournament on Sunday had participants competing on such teams as Face Full of Mud, Dirty Mud Dogs, Mud Sweat and Tears, Down N Dirty and Mud Men.
"It's just a blast," South Elgin resident and third-year participant Julie Frankowski said. "How often can you get all muddy … and not be considered strange?"
The tournament was one of many activities available to those at Lions Park on Sunday as the three-day festival – the Elburn Lions Club's biggest annual event – came to an end.
Event volunteer and club member Cindy Halsey had one word for this year's Elburn Days: fantastic. The beer garden set a new record Friday, the beef stand was doing very well and even Mother Nature came through, she said, describing it as an "excellent weather weekend."
Halsey said the key to the event's success is teamwork.
"The whole event is a well-oiled machine," she said.
Participants of one event, however, came prepared to deal with rough patches. Dylan Kuc of Aurora and Austin Pratt of Batavia, both 17, spent the day at the dirt track used to race remote controlled cars.
"It's usually a lot of fun," Kuc said, noting he has been racing for about four years.
Like the mud volleyball courts adjacent to it, the racecourse could be a dirty place to be, as wind and the cars themselves kicked up dirt, which wafted over bystanders in a cloud.
Parts would sometimes break, prompting participants, including Kuc and Pratt, to tend to their cars after races.
"I have bins of spare parts," Pratt said.
Volleyball players also took advantage of breaks in their event, whether it was to buy concessions or to try to get clean.
Taylor Buch of South Elgin was among those who hosed themselves down after the tournament's first round. Her face still speckled with dirt, the Elgin Community College student said this was her first time playing mud volleyball.
Buch, who played with Top Flight Volleyball Club, said the mud could get deep, but her court wasn't as bad compared to others.
"It was fun," she said.