SYCAMORE – Music, food and family entertainment again drew a crowd to downtown Sycamore on Saturday as the city celebrated its 12th annual Discover Sycamore Block Party.
In the past, the annual block party has drawn as many as 2,000 people to Somonauk Street, said Lauren Diehl, president of Discover Sycamore.
“It’s always weather-dependent,” she said. “Fortunately for us, today’s beautiful.”
Food vendors cooked up everything from hamburgers to pizza, and children lined up to have their faces painted or to get a handmade balloon animal or hat. Inflatables, games and free massages were offered in a nearby parking lot.
Diehl said the block party has grown immensely since it started in 2000, when Discover Sycamore and the Sycamore Chamber of Commerce wanted a way to lure people downtown to show off construction that had just been completed.
“It’s a fun way to kick off the fall season,” Diehl said. “It’s grown in popularity. We’re seeing more and more vendors.”
The evening included a beer garden and free, live concert by this year’s headliner, Shuvlhed.
Diehl said one of the most popular events in recent years has been Huckleberry Pet Parlor’s Bark on the Block, where people can enter their dogs in a five-event competition to win prizes.
Saturday was the third year of Bark on the Block at the block party. Its theme was Bow Wow Luau and many dogs were outfitted with leis, grass skirts, Hawaiian shirts and, in at least one case, sun-shielding goggles, otherwise known as “doggles.”
Kathleen Ebbing of DeKalb entered her 10-year-old black lab mix, DeeOhGee, in the competition for the first time. DeeOhGee wore doggles and a lei, and was challenged to jump through a hula hoop and go as low as he could go during the dog limbo.
“We participate in a lot of doggie events and decided to come out for this one,” Ebbing said.