“Good job, good job, good job!” Dave Schroeder shouted to the young mates huddled around the Speed of Light, a long, narrow, orange and green cardboard craft flipped upside down in the grass.
9-year-old Max, 11-year-old Alex LaPointe St-George and 9-year-old Ethan Siegel, all of Lincolnshire, and their friend Tommy Guichard, 9, of Parkland, Fla., had just piloted their cardboard boat to an exciting first-place finish.
But it was only the first of a few runs, and the jury remained out on who would emerge victorious.
Schroeder of Lincolnshire and his friend Todd Spohnholtz of Buffalo Grove were among many dads, moms, grandmothers and kids in the crowd at Spring Lake Park in Lincolnshire Friday.
It was day two of the Lincolnshire Community Association’s long-running and popular Red, White and Boom festival. Thousands of people milled around the beach area and around the corner to the southwest, where dunk tanks, bounce houses, food, refreshments and more awaited.
Schroeder and Spohnholtz are with the Adventure Guides, and were coaching a group of young boys who participated in the Cardboard Regatta boat race.
One of the dads wielded a big roll of shiny silver duct tape, patching up the Speed of Light between races.
“There’s a whole strategy going on,” Schroeder said. “It’s the subculture of cardboard boat racing.”
At a lifeguard’s whistle, another fleet of cardboard craft hit the water, paddles splashing furiously toward a floating platform with a slide, around which and back they aimed to voyage.
One gray vessel took on water and sank just after the start. Her drenched Lincolnshire Boy Scout Troop 78 crew dragged her back to shore.
“I think we could race again,” joked Joshua Russell, 13.
Seated in a shady spot on some rocks along the edge of the beach was Trudy Komos, a 49-year resident of the village who was attending the festivities with her daughter, Deanna Crawford, and grandsons, Michael and Dean.
“I think it’s fascinating to see what they can put together with cardboard and duct tape,” Komos said. “It’s fun.”
Komos and Crawford said they wouldn’t miss Red, White and Boom, which started July 3 with a kids’ concert, food court and beer tent, rides and attractions, a classic car display and live music at the tennis court stage.
It continued Friday with a pancake breakfast, 5K run, parade, cardboard boat regatta at Spring Lake, pie-eating contest, more live music and, at dusk, fireworks.
Youssef Shoukry, a management analyst with the village who volunteered Friday to help coordinate the regatta, and Debbie Burke, treasurer of the LCA, said the event depends on volunteers.
Burke said she hopes more people will decide to become a part of the behind-the-scenes effort that leads to all of the fun. Anyone interested can contact her at email@example.com.
“It’s a very cool event,” Burke said. “This year the village of Long Grove stepped in to help us. In order for this to continue to be as successful as it has been, we really need volunteers with younger children to step up and help us keep this going.”
Burke also praised the longtime efforts of stalwarts Bob and Pat Gregory, who were named Citizens of the Year this year for their many years of helping with LCA activities and events, including reinvigorating a fizzled out Halloween Boo Bash, as well as the December tree lighting.Tags: Buffalo Grove, Fourth of July, Lincolnshire