289. Santa Returns to Deer Park Town Center with Fireworks

Santa's Arrival and Fireworks Extravaganza at Deer Park Town Center - Friday, November 8th from 6 p.m. to 8:30 pm.

 Deer Park Town Center is rolling out the red carpet – big time – for Old St. Nick’s return tonight.  Santa will be riding in on a firetruck right at 6 p.m. led by Stevenson High School’s marching band.  After that, they will countdown with Santa as he turns on the Holiday lights with a … Read more…

71. Barrington EATS: Make the Most of Your Cinco de Mayo

Post - Tortilla Soup

With Cinco de Mayo right around the corner, we have a recipe duo to get you in the mood. Nothing says “fiesta” like fabulous food made with less money and time spent in the kitchen.

Post - Cinco de Mayo Stamp

Yes, there is a lot to be said for cooking once and eating twice, especially when the second meal is as good as the first. And I can’t believe I’m still talking about soup in April, but this Spring, it’s unfortunately still on the menu. I’ve thrown in a mango margarita recipe to warm you up as well.

Post - Tortilla Soup

Using leftover fajitas to make tortilla soup is rewarding in the areas of both effort and taste. Make two great meals this week with the effort of one with Chicken Fajitas and Tortilla Soup. The same recipes can be made with steak by substituting 16 ounces of strip or flank steak for the chicken.

Flavorful chicken fajitas are marinated in delicious Mexican seasonings. So when there is some leftover, the seasonings infuse an added broth to make an incredible tasting soup with very little effort. Even more delicious is that the only other things you need to add besides a rich broth are the leftover rice and beans detailed in this recipe. Quick and easy food never tasted so satisfying.

Post - Cinco de Mayo

The following recipe for chicken fajitas serves four with enough leftover to make four servings of hearty restaurant-quality soup. If you are cooking for more or less people, adjust amounts accordingly…

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85. “C” is for Cookie at Community Church of Barrington

Community Church of Barrington Cookie Walk 2011

Bakers throughout Barrington have been busy all week preparing for tomorrow morning’s 38th Annual Community Church of Barrington Cookie Walk. If you want to see what “selling like hot cakes” looks like, don’t be late. Last year, they sold out of cookies in just over an hour.  So be sure to show up early because goodies found at the Cookie Walk make THE BEST “homemade” holiday gifts for neighbors.  They look just like you baked them yourself.  But …. shhh … don’t tell anyone I’ve let you in on this sneaky cookie tip.  I wouldn’t want my own neighbors to know my little holiday secret ;).

Here’s how it works, for $10, you can buy a “one pound” box and fill it with your own hand-picked assortment of cookies in all shapes, sizes and colors…

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43. Fire it Up with the Smokin Gunz

Smokin Gunz Band will Perform at the Barrington Brat Tent Tonight

Be sure you’re cocked, locked and ready to rock when you head to the Barrington Brat Tent today.  There’ll be lots of Country heat on hand tonight when Smokin Gunz takes the stage.  The band will be tonight’s finale performance after a full day of family fun at the Barrington 4th of July Weekend festivities.

Smokin Gunz Band will Perform at the Barrington Brat Tent Tonight

Smokin Gunz are otherwise known as “Chicago’s Hardest Working Country Band”. They’re a Top 40 Country band from the suburbs of Chicago, they have a reputation for getting the audience on their feet and you can learn more about them at SmokinGunz.net.

But the Smokin Gunz are just one of many great activities scheduled for the Brat Tent today…

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41. July 4th Barrington Brat Tent Returns with a Bang

Barrington Fourth of July Brat Tent Festivities

The Brat Tent entrance will blast open today to celebrate four days of July 4th festivities in downtown Barrington. The 27th Annual Barrington Fourth of July celebration will feature a packed schedule of entertainment for kids, families AND adults. We’ll be sharing fun details and the full events schedule in the coming days here at 365Barrington.com, but one of today’s highlights will be the festival’s opening performance this afternoon by OD TAPO IMI.

Barrington Fourth of July Brat Tent Festivities

OD TAPO IMI - Photo Courtesy of Rob Dicker

OD TAPO IMI is a Chicagoland band whose name is an acronym for “Oil Drums That Are Pounded Out Into Musical Instruments”.  They’re known for their Caribbean-style beats and best described as “Jimmy Buffet Meets Blue Man Group.”

OD TAPO IMI will light up the Barrington Brat Tent stage at 12:30 this afternoon with a powerful mix of vocals, steel drums, percussion, guitars and horns playing all genres of popular music with a unique tropical twist. But they’re just a delicious appetizer for a great list of highlights planned for Barrington’s Fourth Festivities this year.

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14. Sign Up for the Barrington Mother’s Day 5K

Sign Up for the Barrington Mother's Day 5K Run/Walk

Want to start a new tradition with your mom this Mother’s Day? There’s still time to sign up for the Mother’s Day 5K Run/Walk happening on the streets of Barrington on Sunday morning. You can even have a poster created to cheer on your mom and arrange to have it posted along the course route.

Sign Up for the Barrington Mother's Day 5K Run/Walk

Get your legs moving with your mama and bring your little ones, too for the FREE 100 meter kids dash.

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354. 365 Barrington SPRING BREAK Photo Contest

Spring Break Photo Contest at 365Barrington.com

We’re heading into the home stretch here at 365Barrington.com! I just reminded my husband that, after next Sunday, we’ll only be FOUR DAYS AWAY from day 365. Because our site sees so much traffic on weeks when we host community photo contests and because today is the FIRST DAY OF SPRING, I decided now would be a good time to host one more contest before the year is complete. It’s our first ever “Spring Break Photo Contest” and the grand prize will be a great way for our winner to relax and have fun when the vacation is over.

Spring Break Photo Contest at 365Barrington.com

The rules are easy. I just made them up. Anyone is eligible to enter this contest, whether you’ve jetted off to sea or ski or are having a “Staycation” like we are right here at home. If you participated in one of our past photo contests, that’s great! We’d love to see more of your photos this time. All you have to do is submit your favorite photo or photos which answer this question:

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349. Celtic Fest in Bryan McGonigal’s Own Words

Post - Bryan McGonigal

McGonigal’s Pub is making it easy to be Irish in Barrington this week!  They’re hosting the community’s inaugural 2-day “Barrington Celtic Fest” starting on St. Patrick’s Day morning.  The pub is also celebrating their one year anniversary, so I thought it would be a great time to catch up with owner, Bryan McGonigal.  He’s a busy guy these days, but he took a quick break and found a comfortable seat at the bar.  With the bartender busy in the background and a pint of Guinness within easy reach, Bryan filled me in on the festival details and highlights from his first year in business.

The fest will run tomorrow and Friday from 10AM until 1AM featuring a great lineup of live Irish music, Irish dancers, Corned Beef, Cabbage, a full Irish menu, pints of beer, NCAA basketball tournament watching and plenty of people in green.  Admission is FREE and you’ll find the full festival entertainment lineup below. But first, here’s Bryan’s look at the fest and McGonigal’s first year, in his very own words.

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341. Meet the Clarkes of Clarke’s Bakery and Deli

Matthew and Leone Clarke

The month of March is one big party for a local couple that has built a thriving Barrington business around their shared passion for baking, cooking and celebrating the goodness of great homemade food. Matthew an Leone Clarke of Clarke’s Bakery and Deli are preparing feasts this month to celebrate Fat Tuesday today, St. Patrick’s Day next week, Barrington’s First Annual Celtic Fest AND their business’ 25th Anniversary. With a cup of kindness, two handfuls of hard work and a lifetime of experience in the kitchen, together the Clarkes have created a winning recipe that keeps loyal customers coming back for more.

Matthew and Leone Clarke

If you drop by Clarke’s today, you’ll find Matthew or Leone at the counter, or it’ll likely be one of their two daughters who greet you. Stacey just graduated from college with a law enforcement degree and Kathrine is studying to be a teacher. Both girls grew up in the bakery and know their parents’ story well.

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