By Anne Eickstadt

ANNE EICKSTADT PHOTO Belvidere Republican
Members of the Poplar Grove government, Poplar Grove Lions Club (with President Glenn Herrmann wielding the scissors) and the Belvidere Area Chamber of Commerce officially open the new walking path n Lions Club Park.

The annual Neighbors Fest in Poplar Grove on Saturday, June 11. “Neighbors Fest is designed to say ‘Thank you’ to the community,” said the event coordinator, Kristi Richardson. “Every one of the vendors and activity directors is local. They live, work, or own a business in Poplar Grove. We partnered with Northern Illinois Youth Baseball & Softball who are running all four diamonds this year. They are a subsidiary of the Lions Club. A lot of younger members joined the Lions Club over the past year. We want to do as much as we can for the community following the pandemic. It has been a fun year.

“We have kids playing baseball, we have games in the park for kids, we have a vintage tractor show, inflatable bounce houses and slides, a petting zoo, and a Touch-a-Truck event. The Ida Public Library Bookmobile will be here for that. We will be showing the movie ‘Monsters’ Inc’ and the Boy Scouts will be presenting a flag retirement ceremony.”

The concession stand was popular throughout the day as many purchased water, soft drinks, snacks, and lunch.  The Lions Club offered a separate, fundraising lunch grilled by the 4 Bees. It consisted of two pork chops, baked beans, and cole slaw. Corn on the cob was also freshly cooked and sold nearby.

At 1:30 p.m., a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Lions Park Walking Path took place. Participants in the ceremony included: Poplar Grove Village Clerk Karri Anderberg, Poplar Grove Village Trustee Eric Miller, the Belvidere Area Chamber of Commerce Board President Amy Ohlsen, and the Belvidere Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Amy Nord. Additional participants at the ceremony included the elected officials and senior staff from the Village of Poplar Grove, members of the Lions Club board, and members of the Belvidere Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

“We are thrilled to expend on our parks in Poplar Grove and open this lovely new walk path for Poplar Grove families to enjoy” said Eric Miller, Village Trustee. “The path is a perfect example of how our community comes together. With a shared partnership of the Village and Lions Club, the people have an amenity we can all be proud of.”

Poplar Grove Lions Club president Glenn Herrmann said, “We have received $68,000 for the path. People don’t want more taxes but when it comes down to donating for a cause, they are very willing. The Lions Club worked really hard. It was not totally tax free as the Village helped us with it since they also use the park.”

Sen. Dave Syverson simply added, “Congratulations.”

At 3 p.m. the Touch-a-Truck vehicles included a mini-backhoe, a bulldozer, a Poplar Grove Public Works truck, a lift/tow truck from Tilford’s Auto & Truck Service Center, an engine and a ladder truck from Boone County Fire District #3, a Zodiac and a rescue boat with a dive platform from MABAS who also brought their Decontam Unit, and the EMA Air Truck. The Ida Public Library Bookmobile was a popular place to visit as was the Boone County Sheriff’s Dept. Mobile Command Center attended by Lt. Scott Yunk and other Sheriff’s Deputies. “We are out here for Touch-a-Truck,” Yunk said. “This is a beautiful vehicle.”

A truck for Empower Boone was on hand as well. They were distributing fresh produce to anyone who wanted any.

The day ended with fireworks, a good time being had by all.

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