Thousands came to Long Grove over the past weekend to browse vendors, take in the summer weather and possibly eat a fried Twinkie or Oreo at the Long Grove Summer Fest.
The festival this year, which lasted Friday through Sunday, took the place of the former Strawberry Festival in downtown Long Grove. Although the name has changed, attendees still could enjoy different strawberry dishes, including strawberry sundaes, strawberries in whipped cream and chocolate strawberry kabobs.
"The reason why we did that was that it's more than strawberries," said Ryan Messner, president of the Long Grove Business and Community Partners. "It's the fruits of summer."
The three-day festival was expected to attract 30,000 people, Messner said. Events like the new Summer Fest and the recent Long Grove Chocolate Fest, which drew 40,000 people, are meant to help Long Grove and its downtown become a tourist destination again, after the village saw vacancies and foreclosures following the economic recession in the late 2000s, he said.
Attendees at Summer Fest browsed different vendor booths, while children experienced a carnival ride — a new addition this year.
Laura Cruz, of Kildeer, said her and husband enjoyed seeing their children, Sofia, a 5 year old at Willow Grove School in Buffalo Grove, and 4-year-old Emma, have a fun time.
"I'm happy because my girls are having a great time," Cruz said.