Music and tradition big draws at Vernon Hills Summer Celebration

Smash Mouth pulled in thousands of spectators to a Saturday night concert on the main stage of the Vernon Hills Summer Celebration.

A Facebook poll conducted by organizers after last year's festival said the band was a clear choice to play the event, according to the village's website.

The Southern California band is known for such hits as "All Star," "I'm A Believer" and "Walkin' On The Sun."

Joe Comella, of Libertyville, had not seen the band live before Saturday night, but was quick to recite Smash Mouth's most popular songs.

"This is just a great night to get out – it's not too hot – and see this band," he said.

Mild, dry weather Saturday drew long lines at the food vendor booths in Century Park. Ice cream, jumbo corn dogs, alligator on a stick and the perennial carnival favorite funnel cakes were among the offerings.

Vernon Hills American Legion Post 1247 drew an enthusiastic, overflow crowd for bingo beneath the park's pavilion.

Post Commander Jim Flood, who runs the event with his wife and past commander John Taylor, said bingo draws loyal followers each year.

"We see a lot of players who are kind of addicted to bingo," he said. "There have been some years where we didn't raise enough money to make it worthwhile, but we ran it anyway because we figured the people enjoyed it."

Flood said by playing a variety of game styles, they aim to make as many winners as possible.

"(It) gives them a chance to make a few bucks on a winner and the post makes a few bucks to spend on the charities of American Legion," Flood said.

Dave Scanlon, a former area resident now living in Wheeling, said he and his family continue to attend because of the food, events and activities.

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