The 107 degree heat index didn’t stop football fans from coming out to the Friday Night Lights Fest on Friday, July 19, 2019. The second-annual family-friendly football festival was held at BrickStone Brewery Production Facility in Bourbonnais, IL. The event was sponsored by the Kankakee Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Village of Bourbonnais and the Kankakee County Convention and Visitors Bureau. The festival is a community-wide pep rally and football field event presented by Bear Construction.
Fans had the opportunity to watch local youth football programs as they ran football drills. In attendance were the Bourbonnais Jr. Boilermakers, Bradley Lions, Kankakee Eastside Bulldogs, Herscher Jr. Tigers, and Kankakee Colts. The team’s cheerleaders were also in attendance. After their drills, each teams’ coach had the chance to tell fans about their programs. The Kankakee High School varsity football team also ran some drills during the festival.
Other activities at the festival included the Meijer KidZone. Here, children and parents had the chance to participate in obstacle courses, children’s activities, inflatables, and giveaways.
A flag football game featuring local youth talent was held on the Amita Health St. Mary’s Hospital Friday Night Lights Fest football field. The two participating teams were Plochman’s Mustard and Little Caesar’s Pizza. The game ended on a tie. The winner was determined by a game of rock paper scissors, which Plochman’s Mustard won.
Staley Da Bear, the Chicago Bears mascot, took pictures with fans and signed autographs. It was Staley Da Bear who suggested rock paper scissors to determine the winner of the flag football game. Food vendors set up at the fest included Mia Bella’s Pizza, Jimmy Jo’s BBQ, Sweet Street, and BrickStone. The event also had a cooling tent for fans and players to stay cool.
Fans had the chance to participate in the VIP experience. Fans had the opportunity to take pictures and get autographs from three Chicago Bears Alumni. Players in attendance were defensive tackle Chris Zorich, cornerback Jerry Azumah, and wide receiver Johnny Knox. Fans of the VIP experience also got brats from Johnsonville Sausage, pizza from Urban Farmer, and a buffet and bar hosted by BrickStone Brewery. Sponsors of the event were Peoples Bank of Kankakee County, Amita Health St. Mary’s Hospital Kankakee BrickStone Brewery, Iroquois Federal, Johnsonville Sausage, Riverside Orthopedic Specialists, and Urban Farmer.