Bud Turner - American Legion / Lake Forest Day
Lake Forest Day presented by American Legion McKinlock Post #264
Join in the fun for the 111th Annual Lake Forest Day presented by American Legion McKinlock Post #264 on August 6 & 7!
Lake Forest /Lake Bluff Chamber of Commerce: What was the inspiration behind Lake Forest Day, and when did the Legion get involved?
Bud Turner: Lake Forest Day has always been a day set aside to celebrate all of Lake Forest. This is the 111th Annual Lake Forest Day, and the 100th Anniversary of McKinlock Post #264. We don’t have an exact time the Legion took it over, [from the Lake Forest Ladies Club] but it was probably about 100 years ago! It has always been held on a Wednesday, because traditionally, that was the day that banks and other businesses in Lake Forest closed early. It has continued on a Wednesday ever since. It also benefits us to have the carnival on a Wednesday, because the Legion receives a larger portion of carnival admission revenue than we would if it were on a weekend. Windy City Amusements has been a great partner for us.
LFLBC: What is one thing you want people to know about Lake Forest Day?
BT: We’d like them to know that the American Legion does the event every year, and not the City. We get a lot of help from the City and we are very appreciative of that, but it’s our program and our revenue which goes to our scholarships and other community initiatives
LFLBC: What is the vision for Lake Forest Day—will there be any changes to the event in the future?
BT: We have made changes over the years to keep up with the times, but I think we're going to have to change our colors a little bit and do some things differently in the future. There just aren’t enough of us [Legionnaires] to put on an event of this scale each year. In the past we did everything ourselves--we would come in and set everything up, and afterward, tear everything down ourselves. So, we’re thinking about finding more volunteers or partners to help put on the event.
LFLBC: What is one of your greatest Lake Forest Day accomplishments over the years?
BT: Two years ago, we brought down a group of veterans from the VA and they had some time at the Carnival before everything started. They got to eat there, and just take in the event. It’s been great to share it with more veterans.
LFLBC: What local businesses do you partner with?
BT: So many businesses help support Lake Forest Day by marching in our parade, and really getting behind our efforts.
LFLBC: How do you give back to the community?
BT: The revenue we generate from Lake Forest Day goes to all our community programs. We give five college scholarships to high school students in varying amounts. We sponsor kids to attend Boys State, and those who go always get so much out of it—they want to go every year. We have American Legion Baseball. And we are involved with the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in the area. We also provide an Honor Guard and Rifle Squad for veteran's funerals and community events.
LFLBC: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
BT: Come out to the Lake Forest Day activities. Watch the parade, enjoy the carnival, buy some raffle tickets…and if you want to volunteer to help out next year, just let us know!