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The Arts

Though a large village in scope (with a residential population exceeding 45,000), Buffalo Grove has maintained a small-town feel characterized by a close-knit community of family and friends. Local events continue to bring together the residents of Buffalo Grove, old and new. The year-long festivities of Buffalo Grove’s 50th Anniversary Celebration will be remembered well into the future, and residents continue to enjoy regular concerts by the Buffalo Grove Symphonic Band and the fireworks that light up the sky each Fourth of July. The following passages highlight just two of the Village’s widely celebrated events: the annual Buffalo Grove Days and the highly rated Buffalo Grove Invitational Fine Art Festival.

Buffalo Grove Days

What started as a modest community picnic in 1958 has grown into a much-anticipated five-day communitywide festival filled with fun for all ages. Buffalo Grove Days has become a strong tradition among friends and family residing in the city. “The idea behind the event is to maintain a small-town feel, especially when the community first formed after [Buffalo Grove’s] incorporation in 1958,” says Village Manager Bill Brimm.

Held over Labor Day weekend each year, Buffalo Grove Days kicks off on Thursday night with the opening of the carnival and bingo tent sponsored by the Buffalo Grove Rotary Club. Mainstage entertainment begins Friday night and the full food tent simultaneously opens for business. The smells of nearly 20 local eateries—most of which are Chamber members—fills the air in and around the food tent all weekend long.

The festival is enjoyed morning and night on Saturday and Sunday, with even more live entertainment and the addition of fireworks (Sunday night), a business fair and the Annual Arts & Crafts Fair (Saturday through Monday). The community parade draws in families Sunday afternoon, while Monday’s festivities are centered around the annual “Fun and Food for People with Disabilities” program.

While the event has grown alongside the community, it has retained the “local” essence that was instilled in its early years as a community picnic. Don’t miss out on the festivities in 2010, which run between September 2nd and 6th.

Buffalo Grove Invitational Fine Arts Festival

The Buffalo Grove Town Center, situated at the intersection of Lake Cook Road and Route 83, becomes a haven for artists and art enthusiasts every third weekend in July. It is during this weekend that some 30,000 people come to browse through the original artwork of 150 artists at the annual Buffalo Grove Invitational Fine Art Festival. This juried fine arts event is coordinated by the nationally recognized Amdur Productions, with assistance provided by the Village’s Arts Commission and volunteer residents.

Recognized among the country’s top festivals, the fine art festival invests in a competitive selection process, which decides the artists that will be “invited” to take part. Participating artists display all forms of media—from painting, sculpture and woodwork to ceramics, photography and glass—which are available for sale. According to Deputy Village Manager Ghida Neukirch, “This event gives visitors a chance to purchase a piece of community art.”

The year 2009 marked the first time the art festival featured youth artwork in addition to the 150 artists. Approximately 15 local youth artists ages nine to 18 years participated last year, showcasing their talents in various media.

Adjacent to the artist booths is an exciting array of entertainment stages, food and refreshments, as well as the busy Family Art Tent. “The Family Art Tent offers a place for the entire family to engage in the process of creating art,” says Neukirch. “All activities are free to the public and includes book design, tile painting and pretzel decoration, thanks to our great sponsors.”

2010 will mark the Buffalo Grove Invitational Fine Art Festival’s ninth year. The event will be held the weekend of July 17th and 18th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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