Cuba Township Supervisor Dave Nelson says Sunday’s second annual FRED Fest was a great success, with six bands performing for guests gathered at the Fox River Preserve Pavilion on Robert’s Road. The weather was awesome and the lawn was filled with families and friends tossing balls, chatting over food truck fare and dancing to some great live music.
But I came to FRED Fest on a mission…to find out more about the fest’s mysterious namesake character and get a better feel for the party’s purpose. So when I arrived at the fest I made a beeline for the dance floor, where Dave Nelson was cutting a rug with his grandkids, and I asked him to fill me in on Fred.
Dave shared the answer, while maintaining a little of the mystery surrounding the festival’s namesake character. “I say FRED stands for Fox River Entertainment District. You will have to ask the committee members about their interpretation.”
Hmmm. So I did some more investigating and learned that Fred is this “cool dude” and “free spirit” born and raised in Lake County who whiles away the days exploring nature and listening to rock music. Rumor has it that “Fred” is also the middle name of some mystical man who can be found walking, daydreaming and fishing along the shores of the Fox River.
Dave Nelson did not reveal whether he has ever encountered this man of many legends. “But I can tell you that FRED Fest was a great success in raising awareness and funds for the Preservation Foundation of the Lake County Forest Preserve District that gives us so much beautiful open space in the Barrington area.”
Dave says one of the more specific missions of FRED Fest is to raise money to create a brand new public outdoor destination on another beautiful piece of nearby land now owned by the Lake County Forest Preserves.
“Part of our mission at FRED Fest is to raise money for future buildings. One of the parcels right across the river from here is called the Hurd property. The Lake County Forest Preserves just bought 100 acres there that overlook the Fox River. The land is off Kelsey Road about a mile north of Route 22 and it’s beautiful. It’s up on a hill overlooking Cary and it’s gorgeous. We’re raising money to build a pavilion, washrooms and maintenance building on the site for everyone to enjoy it. So we’ll definitely be hosting FRED fest again next year, but we might change it up a bit and maybe do it in June instead of August. So we’ll let everybody know what’s in store for FRED Fest, 2015.”
The project is all part of connecting the trails at Grassy Lake south of Kelsey Road with the Hurd property north of Kelsey and constructing a parking lot, restroom, additional trails, a river overlook and educational exhibits on the Hurd property according to Lake County Forest Preserve documents found online.
So there you have it! We all have to stay tuned for details about FRED Fest, 2015. But I know that I’ll be coming earlier, bringing more friends and on the lookout for Fred at next year’s fest. After all, if he inspires outdoor parties that create more places for outdoor parties, then this cat must really be cool.
Speaking of cool cats, take a look at these beautiful photos from FRED Fest 2014, courtesy of Barrington’s own Bob Lee.