Bright sunshine brought hot days and cool nights to Homer Glen's Heritage Park for the annual community festival, presented by the Village of Homer Glen.
Four fun-filled days filled the senses with lively music, delicious dining options, and plenty of laughter and smiles to see.
Thursday, June 23
HomerFest officially kicked off on Thursday with the opening of the carnival rides and games, provided by All Around Amusement this year. Food vendors also opened to share their culinary creations with visitors.
Music began to fill the air shortly after, as local talent DJ Mike & the Drums took the main stage inside the beer tent, serving as a host for the musical guests following after performing their own set. Another local group, Hoodwink'd, took the stage before the first night's headlining band, The Boy Band Night, entertained the crowd with classic boy band and pop music hits before and after the Homer Glen fireworks display at 9:30 p.m.
Taking a short break from the live music, everyone turned their attention towards the skies for Homer Glen's summer fireworks display. Families packed the Heritage Park lawn to get an ideal view of the fireworks display to the north of the park, coupled with themed music timed to the fireworks lighting up the night's sky.
Friday, June 24
Before opening to the public, the Ability Awareness Committee hosted its first "Ability Awareness Day" at HomerFest. Parents and caregivers of children and adults with special needs were welcomed to the carnival rides and games for a more-inclusive experience before opening to the public, and each attendee received a goody bag and t-shirt upon arrival. A magician was also around to make special balloon creations for everyone and a special guest by the Will County K-9 Unit also wagged on by!
After Ability Awareness Day ended around 5 p.m., HomerFest opened to the public with local talent Fake-ID on the main stage. Crowds continued to grow throughout Friday night, in what was estimated to be one of the largest single-day crowds in the history of HomerFest.
Around 7 p.m. the next band surprised the audience with their tribute to musical legends, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash. Everett Dean & The Lonesome Hearts performed a great set of Elvis hits and other Rockabilly hits from the ages.
Friday's headliner, 7th Heaven, closed the night out with a vast mix of popular music from the past few decades. A well-known staple in the area, the beer tent was packed to the brim for a wonderful end to a rockin' Friday night.
Saturday, June 25
A few morning storms eventually cleared up, but not before officials had to reschedule the morning's Homer Township Annual Independence Day Parade, which needed to be moved back a day to Sunday morning due to the storms.
However, by noon when the carnival opened, the weather cleared up and bright sunshine quickly dried up all the morning's rainfall.
The first Saturday band was a local group as well, Woulda Coulda Shoulda, who kicked off their set at 2 p.m. while the food vendors also started filling the summer afternoon air with a delectable aroma.
Country music fans were pleased with local area musician Nate Venturelli and his new and old country hits. Local Chicago suburban singer and "The Voice - Season 16" contestant, Abby Kasch, made a special guest appearance and performed along with Nate and his band for some country hits.
Keeping with a country theme and moving towards Southern Rock, the next band, Eliminator, honed the style and songs of ZZ Top. Getting into full "Sharp Dressed Man" attire, the band had even the youngest attendees dancing and playing in front of the stage to the delight of everyone in attendance.
Finally, classic rock took center stage for the headliner band for Saturday, Anthem, Classic Rock and Beyond. Their set included covers by all-time favorites like Styx, Bon Jovi, Led Zeppelin, Kansas, Queen, Aerosmith, Van Halen, and more.
Sunday, June 26
Clear skies allowed the rescheduled Independence Day Parade to take place Sunday morning before the final day of HomerFest began around noon.
Even after three days of rides, food and music, attendance was very high for the day. It appeared those with unlimited ride passes yearned for that one more ride before the end of the carnival - who could blame them!
Two bands performed on the main beer tent stage - local group Metro Star Orchestra followed by Chicago Experience - to cap off the festival's musical entertainment.
HomerFest 2022 Recap
Special thanks to all of the 2022 HomerFest Sponsors: All Around Amusement, Rubi Agave, Meijer, Hawk Joliet, Smokers Kingdom, Bud Light, Tazza Italian Ristorante, Kenwood Liquors, Heritage Corridor Business Alliance, Booth Orthodontics, Busey Bank, HR Green, Chesdan's Pizzeria & Restaurant, State Farm Insurance - Michelle Kerfin, Bump & Grind Autobody, Coldwell Banker - Greg Mucha, Homer Township Firefighters, Solana, Soft Way Car Wash/Lube Master Oil Change, ACE Hardware, Richards Building Supply, Old Plank Trail Community Bank, Elite Dance Academy, Homer Companies, Nick's Barbecue, Homewood Disposal Service, Montessori School of Lemont, Kleen Spot Cleaners, Homer Township Fire Protection District, and the Village of Homer Glen.
Overall, the attendance at HomerFest 2022 was one for the record books, with officials estimating more people were at the four-day festival this year than any previous year. It all couldn't be possible without the help of the HomerFest Committee, Village Staff, local food vendors, bands, and of course YOU - the wonderful Homer Glen community and our neighbors.
See you at HomerFest 2023!