Everywhere Susan LePlae Miller goes, she hears the buzz about Rock the Block
“People are so excited about this,” LePlae Miller said. “Everywhere I go, people say they are looking forward to it.”
In a matter of days, downtown Lake Zurich will be transformed into a venue for the village’s first street festival. Rock the Block will be held from 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14.
“I think everybody has been waiting for something to do in our hometown,” she said, adding people usually head out of town for nighttime activities.
There’s been a buzz over the last few weeks fueled by Rock the Block’s Facebook page and the committee’s marketing efforts, said Dave Peterson, Lake Zurich recreation manager.
Rock the Block is a great start to create more special events for Lake Zurich residents, she said.
The idea came from Village President Tom Poynton, who recruited Lake Zurich Farmers Market volunteers
And others to plan a street fest downtown. Volunteers were excited and jumped on the idea, LePlae Miller said.
“We did it on a very quick turn around,” she said.
LePlae Miller has experience planning events and has done a lot of volunteer work in the community. Other volunteers are also active. “We have strong people and a lot of really high skill sets so we are able to get a lot accomplished,” she said. “I think everyone has a good attitude and want to make this happen.”
A side benefit of being on the planning committee is she has met more people who live and work in Lake Zurich.
The planning committee has worked with different organizations and village staff.
Peterson was a liaison between the village and the committee. He found the committee worked well together and got things done.
“The amount of attention and enthusiasm this committee has had has been wonderful,” he said. “It’s just been wonderful to witness it first hand, to see people’s excitement and willingness to step up in the community and run an event.”
Rock the Block isn’t just a street festival. The event serves to put a spotlight on Lake Zurich’s downtown and serves as a fundraiser for village organizations and charities.
The decision to hold it downtown was an effort to show developers that the downtown is prime for revitalization, organizers said.
“We talked about several different locations but (holding it downtown) made the most sense,” LePlae Miller said. Lake Zurich needs to starts the whole concept of revitalization by brining people downtown to show it is a vital area and highlight the businesses that are there now, she said.
“There’s so much potential. I think it was important to have it in the downtown,” she said.
Downtown Lake Zurich businesses are excited, too. Businesses that are not usually open that late will be open. Everyone wanted to be involved, she said.
Rock the Block is also a fundraiser for the St. Vincent de Paul Food pantry in Lake Zurich. Everyone attending the festival is asked to bring three nonperishable items to donate to the food pantry. There is also a raffle where all the proceeds benefit the food pantry, LePlae Miller said.
LePlae Miller is thrilled about how Rock the Block is shaping up.
“I think we are in pretty good shape, of course, it’s the first time we are doing this. There will be some things we will improve on for next year,” she said. “But everyone is really positive and I think it will be a great event.”