Carol Moses of Geneva decided to enjoy a Sunday morning in Yorkville with her daughter and grandchildren because she is a fan of classic cars.
“I’m dating a guy who has a 1967 Pontiac LeMans,” Moses said as he pushed a cart up a gravel path at the Kendall County Fairgrounds. “We’re going to get the kids to enjoy some of the activities. It’s a beautiful day and I love being at car shows and being outside like today.”
The Kendall County Fairgrounds came alive with activity Sunday as the fairgrounds’ Fall Festival began at 9 a.m. on a sunny but chilly morning.
For the next five hours, visitors to the free event could enjoy a car show that officials said boasted nearly 100 vehicles, as well as an expanded program that organizers say is designed to make this year’s festival “more family-friendly “.
Christine Chalko, office manager of the fair, which organizes the event, said the festival has been going on for several years and is now “pretty much even as far as being a car show and having vendors and activities.”
“Before this year, it was basically a car show with a few vendors, but I decided to make it even more family-friendly,” Chalko said. “We have all kinds of local businesses that have come in and put on demo stuff. There’s an academy here that teaches children to cut vegetables with children’s knives, there’s a bounce house, several vendors and lots of seasonal activities, and also craftspeople.’
Those activities include pumpkin bowling, potato sack races, face painting and an animal show, as well as food and drink vendors “for both adults and children.”
The event, Chalko said, “usually draws about 500 to 600 people, but we’re expecting more this year, given that we have more family events.”
Moses’ daughter April Velasquez of Elburn said she came to the event with her children.
“I come for the good weather and I want to enjoy the autumn festival,” she said.
Joanne Mentz of Sandwich brought her grandsons Andrew, 6, and Hudson, 4, to the craft fair as well as the car show.
“Their dad is working and mom is out of town, so we decided to come see our friend at the car show and all the goodies and the bounce house,” Mentz said. “Everything here is very nice. Everyone should come.”
The event’s Sunday car show attracted hundreds of fans who strolled the fairgrounds’ grassy field where vehicles were parked.
Jim Marter of Oswego was drawn to a shiny green truck that sat at the entrance to the field.
“I come to a lot of car shows and I kind of come out when there’s something going on in Kendall County,” Marter said. “I don’t own classic cars, but I like to look at them. I’ve probably been to seven to ten car shows this year with the fairs and festivals. This is probably my third time at the fair. I love this truck and the color. I would love to have it.
Will Weisbrod of Shorewood brought his 1964 Plymouth Barracuda to the event, which he says he bought five years ago in Michigan City, Indiana.
“I’ve probably brought this to about 20 shows this year and it never gets old riding it on a nice morning,” Weisbrod said. “When people drive by and look at this car, the most I hear is ‘What are you going to do if the rear window breaks?’, given how big and curved it is. I would probably cry and try to find one. They are expensive. I actually have a for sale sign on it right now and my starting price is around $26,000.
Patty Wackerlin of Yorkville brought a 1965 Mustang to the fair owned by her and her husband, who was not at the show.
“I got married 60 years ago and my husband was on a blind date. We went to the Chicago Auto Show and he left me in the dust and looked at everything there,” Wacklerlin recalled. “We got back in the car and he said (the show) was better the second time than the first. I asked him “Have you been here before?” and he said yes. He got me hooked. That night I knew I would marry him.
Wackerlin said she has enjoyed being a car enthusiast all these years.
“Why do I like it? Because it’s fun,” she said. “It’s nice to drive your car and hear someone say, ‘An old lady drives it.'” So then what do I do – I burn a tire.
David Sharos is a freelance reporter for The Beacon-News.