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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Hopstring Fest offers plenty for kids on Aug. 23 in Joliet

By Ted Slowik

Hopstring Fest is Joliet's premier festival for live music and craft beer, though it's also an all-ages festival that offers plenty of activities for families with young children.

For starters, kids ages 12 and under are free! For adults, tickets for the 12-hour festival on Saturday, Aug. 23 at Silver Cross Field in downtown Joliet are $20/presale, $30 at the door and available through hopstringfest.com. Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

"Because there is re-entry with your ticket stub, parents can come in the morning with their kids, bring the kids home in the afternoon and then come back in the evening after dropping them off with a babysitter," says Mike Trizna, Hopstring Fest presenter and owner of Chicago Street Pub in Joliet.

This year's third annual festival is headlined by the rock band Cracker, known for such hits as "Get Off This," "Low," "Teen Angst," "Happy Birthday To Me" and "Euro-Trash Girl." Mainstage performers include The Righteous Hillbillies, The Steepwater Band, Miles Nielsen and the Rusted Hearts, John Condron & the Old Gang Orchestra, Ed Anderson, Chicago Farmer, The Regressors, Alex Hoffer, Leadfoot and The Prairie Ghosts. All told more than 30 artists will perform on three stages.

For kids, there's a full playground within Joliet's spacious, 6,000-seat Silver Cross Field, home of the Slammers. As a ballpark for a minor league team, it's built to be family-friendly with plenty of clean restrooms, ample free parking in the area, and a lot of concession stands that keep the lines short for food and beverages. One or more of the Slammers' mascots will be on hand to entertain the kids.

Kids are allowed in the dancing area, and both kids and adults can get Henna tattoos from artists on site. Local businesses, including Giji's Sweet Shop located across from the Rialto Square Theatre, will sell treats for kids at Hopstring Fest including lemon shakeups and popcorn. Other food for sale will include hotdogs, hamburgers,  nachos and other stuff kids love!

The mainstage lineup this year is presented by Flipside Works. Red Betty IPA Side Stage performers include Dan Dougherty and the Tone Bone, Rebecca Rego and the Trainmen, Allison Flood, Chris Flood, the Matt Biskie Trio, Tom & Becky, Ernie Hendrickson, J Ross Green and Scott McNeil. Chris Flood is managing the lineup.


Performers on the Deschutes Brewery Side Stage include Charlie Champene and Eric Totherow, Brian Barry, John Narcissi, Chase Walsh, Ryan Olsson, Molly McKenna Batozech, Tim Streit, CottonHeaded Ninny Muggins, John Till and Pete Jive. The lineup is managed by Kristin Barry.