Rotary GroveFest in Downers Grove Brings Carnival, Live Music, Craft Beer Tasting, and More

Rotary GroveFest is celebrating 10 years in downtown Downers Grove! This popular summer festival starts next Thursday, June 20 and goes through Sunday, June 23, 2019.

The largest event in the great community of Downers Grove, Rotary GroveFest transforms the downtown area into a wonderful festival filled with carnival rides for all ages, midway games, an impressive live music line-up, a plethora of delicious food, craft beer tasting with no cover charge, and car show. Each day features hours with “pay-one-price” wristbands for the carnival rides and there are headlining local bands each day of the fest. Not only is it non-stop fun, it also helps to support the Rotary Club of Downers Grove who gives back to many non-profits in Downers Grove and surrounding areas!

Keep reading for the full schedule and details!

Rotary GroveFest Hours

The fun starts next Thursday with an unlimited ride preview night and the full GroveFest starts on Friday. 

Thursday, June 20: 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm (unlimited ride preview night)
Friday, June 21: Noon – 5:00 pm (unlimited rides only), 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm (full fest)
Saturday, June 22:  Noon – 11:00 pm
Sunday, June 23: Noon – 10:00 pm (Festival of Cars on Warren Avenue 11:00 am – 3:00 pm)

Rotary GroveFest Carnival and Midway

You will not want to miss out on the many rides that will be provided by North American Midway Entertainment. Bring the entire family to enjoy the rides and take a mini vacation to Rotary Club of Downers Grove’s Annual Rotary GroveFest!

The featured carnival rides include the following for each age group…

Big Kids

  • Amor Express
  • Orbiter
  • Scooter
  • Tilt a Whirl
  • Starship 3000
  • Tornado
  • Persian Kamel

Little Ones

  • Wacky Mouse
  • Mini Jets
  • Combo Cars
  • Cycle Jump
  • Jumping Jack
  • Fire Chief
  • Bulgy the Whale

Everyone

  • Century Wheel
  • Carousel

Hours for Unlimited Rides

Unlimited Rides wristbands are available at certain times each and every day for $27.

Thursday, June 21: 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm “Sneak a Peek”!
Friday, June 22: Noon – 5:00 pm
Saturday, June 23: Noon – 5:00 pm
Sunday, June 24: Noon – 10:00 pm

You can save $5 per wristband for unlimited rides and purchase them online for $22 by clicking on the banner graphic below, then just print your voucher and bring it with you to be scanned at Rotary GroveFest to receive your wristband.

Regular Ticket Prices

Each ride requires between 2-4 coupons.

1 coupon: $1.50
22 coupons: $25
55 coupons: $60

North American Midway’s ticket policy is to accept ANY pre-purchased tickets.

Live Music at Rotary GroveFest

The Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital Main Stage at Downers Grove Rotary GroveFest comes alive at 5 pm on Friday June 21, 2019. The $5 cover charge is good for the entire weekend and you only need to pay a cover charge for the entertainment and beer garden area.

All of the live bands all weekend are located on The Avocate Good Samaritan Hospital Stage, in the Wenzel Select Properties Entertainment Area.

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The Craft BeerFest features more than 24 different craft beers from local crafters and there isn’t a cover charge! Each flight of three tasters is $6.

These three large sponsor areas are located in Downtown Downers Grove at the railroad tracks between Main and Forest.

Live Music Schedule

Friday, June 21: 5:00 – 11:00 pm
Saturday, June 22: Noon – 11:00 pm
Sunday, June 23: 11:30 am – 10:00 pm

Friday, June 21

ARRA
5:00 – 6:30 pm
Unparalleled vocal harmonies and incredible musicianship have made ARRA one of the best classic rock cover bands in the Chicago area for over two decades! Performing hits by Journey, Boston, Kansas, Rush, Bon Jovi, Styx, Van Halen, Toto, Aerosmith, Triumph, Foreigner and more with precision and excellence!

Modern Day Romeos
7:15 – 8:45 pm 
For sixteen years and a thousand shows, Modern Day Romeos has remained THE quintessential party band! Its six members come from different musical backgrounds to create a fun and high-energy show! Motown classics, classic rock jams, 80’s favs, 90’s gems, and the tops of pop, dance and rock of the 2000’s. They alter most of the songs with their own style and add a lot of comedy and medleys to make your favorite songs new again!

Sixteen Candles
9:30 – 11:00 pm
Sixteen Candles makes it their personal duty and pleasure to bring all the great 80’s songs you love to life in full force. They captivate audiences and inspire new ways of dancing and thinking (not to mention drinking!). The members are 5 fun-loving guys with a simple love for the music of years gone by and a mission to fuse nostalgia and style to create a sight/sound spectacular unlike any other.

Saturday, June 22

Black Bolts
Noon – 2:00 pm
Black Bolts is a grooving, Garage Rock/Soul group hailing from Chicago. They draw their influences from 60’s rock bands such as The Animals and from soul artists like Wilson Pickett. With the diverse combination of these two distinct genres, Black Bolts create a sound that is both new and familiar, but always original.

Valius
2:45 – 4:15 pm
An upbeat cover and energetic original rock band from Elmhurst, IL that has played countless shows across Chicagoland over the last 13 years. Valius is a 5-piece rock act playing truly great songs from 60’s to today. It’s a fusion of innovative harmonies, virtuoso guitar riffs, and transcendent rhythms that bring it all together. From the Beatles to Foo Fighters, Aerosmith to Red Hot Chili Peppers, and not the same top-40 stuff over and over either. Come see an original spin on some of the greatest rock songs in history!

Wild Daisy
5:00 – 6:30 pm
Wild Daisy is THE most energetic, dynamic female-fronted country band in Chicagoland! The band plays current, upbeat country, with a few pop/rock songs thrown in. Wild Daisy established a reputation in Chicago for crowd-interactive, entertaining shows, with musicianship and energy that cannot be matched, and are composed of some of Chicagoland’s most seasoned and talented musicians. Krissi Woods, with her powerhouse vocals and cheerful personality, fronts the band with an energy and enthusiasm that is infectious!

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The Pack Drumline & Dance Crew
6:30 and 8:45 pm
Two show-stopping between-the-bands spectacles designed to leave the crowd speechless! Mixing together energetic rhythms, dance, and melodies with a twist of theatrics, this is a show you’ll be running home to tell your friends about!

Fool House
7:15 – 8:45 pm
Fool House is the ultimate 90’s dance party! Prepare to go back to the golden era of boy bands, pop stars, hip hop, and pop punk. Nonstop singalongs, party throwbacks and choreographed dance moves is what this show is all about. Come prepared to sing your heart out and DANCE !!

7th heaven
9:30 – 11:00 pm
Chicagoland rock/pop band is one of the biggest and busiest indie bands in the world. They’ve charted #1 on Billboard’s Midwest Charts three times in the last three years! Playing over 250 shows a year, with an average of 100 outdoor events and amazing laser shows, they’ve earned the right to say “We’ve seen a million faces and rocked them all!”

7th heaven performance at GroveFest in the past

Sunday, June 23

Imagine Dance Team
11:30 am – 12:00 pm

McNulty Irish Dancers
12:00 ‒ 12:15 pm

Versa5 Dance Company
12:15 ‒ 12:45 pm

Garage Band U
1:15 – 2:00 pm
Garage Band U offers both group and private lessons. Group lessons are specific to the rock bands that the school helps create. Musicians are grouped based on age and talent. Band size is important so that everyone is heavily included in each session. Students decide on songs together to help them retain interest and allow them to perform pieces that they are passionate about.

Rock Academy
2:30 – 3:15 pm
Rock Academy is a family-owned music school that has been around since 2007. Our students come together to meet other young musicians, form bands, and perform concerts, all under the direction of professional musicians.

Sushi Roll
4:00 – 5:30 pm
One word describes this Chicago cover band sensation with high-energy dance music and rock n’ roll swagger: it’s ANIMAZING! One part driving rock band, one part light-hearted pop, and one part over-the-top theatrical verve, they easily transition between revved-up versions of your favorite pop and rock hits by artists like Maroon 5, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, AC/DC, P!nk, Madonna and the Jackson 5… a non-stop musical journey! Welcome to the Land of the Rising Fun…with Sushi Roll!

Maggie Speaks
6:15 – 7:45 pm
One of the hottest live bands in Chicago! With a repertoire that includes nearly every track on your phone, you’ll dance to classics from the 50s to top-40 hits released just last week. Unstoppable medleys, tight grooves, seamless harmonies, infectious non-stop high energy and packed dance floors: they’ve changed the world of cover bands!

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Semple Band
8:30 – 10:00 pm
Fronted by one of the city’s most prominent lead singers and the band’s namesake, Keith Semple, every show is guaranteed to be a nonstop entertaining combination of musicianship and high energy stage performance! Each show features a variety and contrast of styles, including the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, 70’s rock, party songs and alternative/punk rock. Plus, they feature their own original songs!

Bands and schedule subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances.

Main Street Food and Expo

Food & Expo Hours

Friday, June 22: Noon – 11:00 pm
Saturday, June 23: Noon – 11:00 pm
Sunday, June 24: Noon – 10:30 pm

Main Street will be packed full of delicious food and helpful business booths!

Food Booths featured at Rotary GroveFest 2019 include May Cape Crab Cakes, Jimmy’s Italian Ice, Dippin Dots, Salt Creek BBQ, George’s Fun Foods, The Marines, Lee Concessions, Genoa Italian, Barones Pizza, Mylos Greek Foods, Papa Fresco’s, Midwest Novelties, City BBQ, Tropical Sno, Nothing Bundt Cakes, and Cold Stone Creamery.

Main Street and the East Gate Corridor areas will also be filled with business booths with local information (and possibly some swag!) that you will want to check out.

Craft Beer Tasting at the BeerFest

Tired of the high priced cover charge to go and taste new and different craft beer from local area breweries? There’s NO COVER for the Local Craft BeerFest at Downers Grove Rotary GroveFest on Saturday June 22, sponsored by Sevan Multi-Site Solutions and Alter Brewing!

The Craft BeerFest will feature more than 24 different craft beers from local crafters and three 5 oz. tasters will be $6.

Craft BeerFest Hours

Saturday June 22, 2019: Noon – 4:00 pm

No admission fee!
[3] 5 oz. Tasters for $6.00

Rotary GroveFest Car Show: Festival of Cars

The Car Show includes

  • Access to Rotary GroveFest – food, rides, entertainment
  • DJ Dennis ‘The Big Bopper’
  • Trophy Awards
  • Dash Plaques
  • Split-the-Pot $$$
  • Spectators are FREE

Festival of Cars Hours

Sunday June 23: 8:00 am set up for Cars/Owners
Show opens to spectators from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Spectators are free!
Gate opens at 8:00 am and closes at 11:00 am for car entry. If you would like to participate with your car, the registration fee is $20. (Click here to register.)

Directions:

From the North

  • Ogden Ave to Main St Downers Grove
  • South on Main St to Franklin
  • West on Franklin to Forest
  • South on Forest to Warren

From the South

  • North on Lemont Rd. (Main St. – Downers Grove)
  • Turn West on Maple Ave. to Carpenter St.
  • Turn North on Carpenter St. to Curtiss St.
  • Turn East on Curtiss to Forest Ave.
  • Turn North on Forest to entrance at Warren Ave.

Click here for our full guide to summer festivals in the western suburbs.

About the Author

Annie Tandy
Annie loves making great memories with her kids and started Kidlist in 2011 so she can help others do the same! Besides finding fun and exciting things to do, Annie, her husband, and their kids enjoy caring for their chickens and hanging out with them in the backyard. Click here to read about Annie's chickens and see pictures! She also finds joy in gardening, home improvement projects, knitting, soap making, and painting along with being active in her community, church, and as a board member of the Western Springs Business Association. Click here to follow Annie on Instagram.

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