Countdown to the Haunting of Downtown

Our lost cat, answering to the name of Bones, has not been seen since the 2014 Ghost Walk. Will he materialize again this year?

Our lost cat, answering to the name of Bones, has not been seen since the 2014 Ghost Walk. Will he materialize again this year?

This week I attended a planning meeting for the Historical Society’s 3rd Annual Ghost Walk, and the spooks are psyched for another fantastic event this year. When you gather together a group of creative locals who have a love of all things scary and creepy, the Halloween spirit truly comes alive! What started out several years ago as a “Long Grove Lurid Legends” storytelling performance, has evolved into a hauntingly fun family fundraiser involving many diverse community groups. The Ghost Walk features short tales of history and mystery presented by costumed docents and community volunteers. Various historic buildings and locations in our crossroads business district serve as backdrops for the scenes.

As an actor in the skits for the past two years, I can attest to the fun to be had for volunteers and participants alike. The families love the frightful but safe encounters, and we get a kick out of scaring the kids silly. But what I think is truly special about the Ghost Walk is the way the Long Grove community has come together to support and build an event that is a win-win for all. We have more merchants than ever participating this year, and “Crazy Jake Eisler” is materializing again to blow things up in his own special way. In Motion dance studio has a thrilling performance in the works. And rumor has it that the youth group of the Long Grove Community Church has got something spooky planned in front of their atmospheric 1800’s era cemetery. I can’t wait for the haunting to begin!

The Ghost Walk is set for Friday night, October 30th beginning at 7:00 pm in historic downtown Long Grove. To make reservations and for more information (and a hilarious FAQ page) please visit the Long Grove Historical Society website at http://www.longgrovehistory.org/Ghostwalk.html

Apple Fest 2015

The beloved apple cider donuts made a return appearance to Long Grove this past weekend.

The beloved apple cider donuts made a return appearance to Long Grove this past weekend.

For the past three years, I have made a determined effort to eat healthier, and I have tried to avoid the types of bakery items that you see pictured above. However, the Long Grove Confectionery’s locally famous apple cider donuts are only available one time a year, so I allowed myself to have one. Well, maybe more than one (lets just say several) of these cinnamon-sugary balls of deliciousness were consumed, and I was not the only one indulging!

Apple Fest once again graced the historic cross roads of Long Grove this weekend, and it was a perfect excuse to get out and enjoy the beautiful autumn weather. Many others felt the same, based on the large number of festival attendees I saw on Saturday. The Kids Zone on Towner Green was packed with squealing, happy youngsters tossing beanbags, climbing hay bales, and chasing ethereal pieces of whimsy conjured up by the “Bubble Man.” I received a complimentary apple-scented soy candle with the purchase of my pretty new necklace, and who doesn’t just love getting something for free?  Every merchant that I talked with was upbeat and had a smile on their face:  Craig, Tobin, Rachel, Maggie, Pam, Ryan, John, Matt & Meghan–just to name a few. We stayed into the evening to take in some of the great music and an added plus was running into some neighbors and getting the chance to catch up. It was altogether an enjoyable experience.

But let’s get back to the important thing–the food! Besides the aforementioned donuts, apples were consumed in the form of caramel apples, apple martinis, and apple sangria.  And I must say it was worth the splurge. Today I’m back on the healthy eating bandwagon, with gratifying apple-tinged memories to carry me through until next year.

The covered bridge stage featured the band "Infinity" along with the debut of our new festival welcome sign.

The covered bridge stage featured the band “Infinity” along with the debut of our new festival welcome sign.