Shorewood Crossroads Festival has been an event that brings activities and fun to the community in the summer for years – this weekend marked the 43rd edition of the annual event and the eighth year of the Special Needs Pre-Party.
Many local families gathered at Cene’s Four Seasons Park this weekend for the festival.
On Friday afternoon, the carnival opened specifically for families of children with special needs. The rides were available for them without the lights and music, and they also moved more slowly. Volunteers provided assistance, and pizza was served to all families who attended.
“I really enjoy the focus on the kids,” said Bill Theobald, a Shorewood resident. “My grandson is special needs and this is just very nice.”
Shorewood HUGS, a local nonprofit women’s organization that grants wishes to those in need, hosts the event and provides volunteers. The organization sponsors a ride and passes out T-shirts every year.
“I think it’s just wonderful, especially for the special needs carnival,” said Lorayne Wright, a co-founder of HUGS. “There are a lot of people with special needs who cannot attend when it’s really, really crowded.”
On Friday, Mayor Rick Chapman hosted a Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to officially start the fest. The Entertainment/Eat Street then opened for the public to peruse. It provided entertainment and a variety of food vendors.
Other fun for families included pie- and hot dog-eating contests and an Animal Care Center of Shorewood Pet Contest. A fireworks display also topped off Saturday night.
The festival featured a carnival every day with unlimited wristbands available.
“I love the firework display that they have every year on Saturday,” said Jenny Palmer, a Shorewood resident who has attended the Crossroads Festival for the last seven years.
Live music also permeated the park over the weekend. The festival featured six bands, including Heart to Heartbreaker, Boy Band Review and Billy Elton.
On Sunday, the fest wrapped up with a themed parade, a classic car show and the last of its family-friendly entertainment, such as face painting and a magic show.
“You’ll always see a familiar face,” Palmer said. “There’s a really nice small-town community feeling.”