Popular Gurnee Days gearing up with car show and rib fest

by Long Hwa-shu

Gurnee Days is just getting warmed up!

A car show and a rib fest are among the highlights of the 44th annual and well-attended event which began Thursday and ends Sunday.

“We expect the car show to attract between 2,000 and 3,000 people.” Bob Pataky, co-founder of Mis-Shifts Car Club

The car show Sunday at Viking Park where most of the events are held is expected to feature as many as 150 cars, mostly vintage. The show, hosted by the Mis-Shifts Car Club, will kick off at 9 a.m. with registration from then until 11:30 a.m. Awards to the top 50 cars will be presented at 3 p.m.

“The whole idea is come out and have fun,” said Bob Pataky, president and founder of the 90-member club.

Pataky said he and Gerry Cook, also a club founder, and Dick Brean, an officer of the club, had worked nearly three months since May to put the show together.  “We expect the show to attract between 2,000 and 3,000 people,” he said.

The popular rib fest will be Saturday from noon to 11 p.m. at the Viking Park with the rib-eating contest to start at 2:30 p.m. The contest, sponsored by the Exchange Club, calls for participants to eat as much ribs as one can. Speed and quantity are pre-requisites. The winner will be awarded with a trophy adorned with a pig.

Highlights for Friday include the Gurnee Farmer’s Market at Esper Petersen Park from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., bike rodeo at 10 a.m. at Gurnee Fire Station off Old Grand Avenue, story time extravaganza at 10 a.m. at Viking Park and a family decathlon and kite flying at 6 p.m. at the park. A beer garden will open at 6 p.m. at the park where a movie “Zootopia” will be screened.

Saturday’s activities will begin at 7 a.m. with golf tournament at Heather Ridge Golf Course, and a 10-K race at 7:30 a.m. at the Warren Township High School’s O’Plaine campus. Open house will be held at Public Works on Kilborune Road, the Fire Department on Old Gran Avenue and Mother Rudd House, all at 10 a.m. An open house at the Police Department on O’Plaine Road will begin at 11 a.m.

Other highlights for Saturday include a baby contest at the Viking Park Band Shell at 11 a.m., an art show at the Viking School at 10 a.m., a drama “Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs” at Viking Middle School at 11 a.m., an ice cream eating contest at Viking Park at 2 p.m. A police K-9 demonstration will be held at the band shell at 4 p.m. The evening will be topped off with fireworks at 9:30 p.m. at the park.

A pancake breakfast will start Sunday at 8 a.m. at Viking Park. A parade will begin at 11 a.m. on Old Grand Avenue. Other highlights of the final day include Zumba party at 9 a.m. and a talent show at 2 p.m., both at the band shell. A children’s pony ride and petting zoo will be held at the park at 1 p.m.

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