CHANNAHON – Just in its third year, Will County Forest Preserve District’s Music at McKinley is fast becoming a popular summer event in Channahon.
The car show started up at 6 p.m. Saturday and by 6:30 p.m. sheriff’s police were routing cars to a field farther down the road. The peninsula on the Des Plaines River was packed with vehicles, so Forest Preserve volunteers in golf carts were shuttling families back and forth to Kerry Sheridan Grove for the event.
Others were content to make the hike on foot, carrying lawn chairs and coolers; some with kids in tow.
“This event continues to grow better and better every year,” Forest Preserve District board president Don Gould said.
The outdoor concert and car show is a big event for Channahon, Gould said. New this year were fireworks scheduled for the end of the night.
The cars registered in the show nearly doubled from the previous year and reached 180.
Brett Wheeler, owner of Body Werks in Joliet, brought his 1969 Cougar to display.
“This is by far the best event of the season,” he said.
The Forest Preserve District purchased what was formerly known as Moose Island in 2004. The property was developed and now includes the Four Rivers Environmental Center, walking and hiking trails and a covered pavilion for events like Saturday’s.
Some people participating in the Forest Preserve’s Woods Walk trail hiking program walked on over to enjoy the event, said Cindy Cain, public information officer for the district.
Heroes West was grilling burgers and serving up fries, among other foods, for those who didn’t care to bring their own.
The Cadillac Casanovas, with their rock-a-billy music, played to the crowd of hundreds. Families spread out blankets on the lawn or set up in groups of chairs. Kids played games, ran around the grass and some even danced.
Youngsters Kobe, Faith and Darren Jordan sat on a blanket with their mom, Stacey Kerwin and grandpa, Bob Kerwin. The older two played a game of cards and munched on snack food, while the littlest one rolled around on the blanket.
“I enjoy being outside,” Faith said. “I like the smoke [from the grill], it smells like coffee.”
“We come to this every year. We love it,” said Mariann Brandolino, another family member with the group.
Dr. Henry Vicioso, Brad Beall and Sandy Sternisha came out to enjoy the music and the nice evening. Beall and Vicioso both brought cars to show – Beall a 1963 Corvette and Vicioso a 1966 Sun Beam Tiger.
“It’s great weather, it’s a wonderful facility, and the food is delicious,” Vicioso said.