Chesterfield residents will have an entertainment opportunity this weekend as the 18th annual ChesterFest is planned from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 22.
This year’s event will be the biggest ever, event manager Elliott Fausz said, noting there will be more to see and do than in previous years.
Some 200 vendors have signed up for the event, which will be held at the Chester Village Green across the street from the Chester Library.
New this year are a musical petting zoo that features instruments from the Thomas Dale High School band and a dog show hosted by the Centralia Animal Hospital. The latter will feature contests for best costume, trick, small dog, large dog and best in show. Sign-ups for the dog show will be taken at 9:45 a.m. on the stage the day of the event, or earlier at the animal hospital, 4125 Celebration Ave.
Plenty of food and many kinds of vendors will be on hand for the free event, which will include live music by the Cary Street Ramblers from 11 a.m. to noon, and Spectrum, a 10-person pop band that will perform from noon to 4 p.m.
Children’s games and five bounce houses will be available. Numerous students from Thomas Dale High School and associated clubs will be involved with setup and cleanup.
The festival started in 2001 as a “big picnic” with 10 to 15 vendors and a fire truck, said Fausz, whose father, Mark Fausz, was instrumental in getting the event going. A number of others were involved too, along with the Chester Community Association.
Elliott Fausz said he got involved when his dad recruited him to run a horseshoe tournament in 2005. The next year he started booking music acts, and eventually took over in 2010.
Centre Street near Chester Village Green and Chester Village Drive will be closed from 12 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday. Vendors can park at the Festival Park Plaza lots near the railroad tracks.
Thomas Dale High School will offer public parking and four shuttles will run every 5-10 minutes, and Chester Baptist Church will also offer a shuttle for the public.
The event is one of three sponsored by the Chester Community Association each year, with the others being the Chester Farmers Market, which began in 2008, and Third Thursdays on the Green, which started in 2010.
“This is [the association’s] only fundraiser,” Elliott Fausz said of ChesterFest, noting that monies raised will support various projects, including a dog park slated for Goyne Park west of Ecoff Elementary School, scholarships, beautification and infrastructure.
“We’re building up the idea of a sense of place,” said Fausz, who has been president of the Chester Community Association since 2011. “We want to maintain a village feel.”