Attendees of the Huntley Fall Fest each year can enjoy listening to bands, making scarecrows or a variety of other activities.
“You can come to the whole event for free,” said Claudine Cutrona, one of the organizers of the annual event.
While many activities are free, some of the proceeds from the festival also go to help nonprofit organizations in McHenry County. Some of the charities are based in Huntley, but others are based in surrounding communities.
“Everything goes back to the community,” Cutrona said.
Cutrona said the organization will donate $65,000 to various community groups and hears about nonprofits mainly through word of mouth.
Some of the groups that Huntley Fall Fest organizers donate to include the Grafton Food Pantry and Kids In Need, among other nonprofits. New this year, the festival plans to donate some of the proceeds to New Directions, a Woodstock-based addiction retreat.
“Addiction is a serious problem,” Cutrona said.
Crediting the Huntley community for the organization’s ability to help nonprofits, Cutrona said if people didn’t come to the party, the organization wouldn’t be able to help local charities.
“It’s everybody giving back to the community,” Cutrona said.
She added that other groups also fundraise during the Fall Fest weekend, including the Lions Club and the Huntley Library’s book sale. This year’s event took place September 29 to October 1. Dates for the 2024 party have not yet been set.
Although local sports teams, Huntley High School students and other residents help out and are involved in the festival, Cutrona would love to see more people get involved.
“It would be great to have more community involvement,” Cutrona said.