PTO pulled out all the stops for the 25th annual Grove Avenue Carnival the weekend of Sept. 16, even adding an extra day to accomodate District 220 students who were off school on Friday. In addition to popular midway rides such as the Tilt-a-Whirl and the YoYo Chairs, carnival goers were treated to some extraordinary entertainment from local area youngsters.
Bataille Academie of the Dance dominated the stage on Friday night with glitzy can-can numbers and colorful hip-hopish performances.
Saturday evening, Battle of the Bands raged on the main stage, with teenage bands battling for the first place award. White Shadow, an increasingly popular alternative rock band, took the title as they have so often in competitions throughout the Northwest suburbs. Band members, Ryan Woodlock, and brothers Andrew and Daniel Cielak, brought the young crowd to their dancing feet with original pulsating songs.
"We were really excited to play at the Grove carnival," said Woodlock, a Barrington High School freshman. "It's our first big gig in our hometown. It's fun to play in front of friends."
Woodlock and the Cielaks started playing together in the Cielaks basement in third grade. They took lessons at Offbeat Music in Lake Zurich and have won numerous Battle of the Band concerts in the Northwest suburbs. Saturday night's gig coincided with their debut EP released on iTunes. ( http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/white-shadow-single/id463854956)
Despite threatening weather, the carnival met its fundraising goals this year and partial proceeds will help pay for a new playground at Sunnyside Elementary School in Carpentersville.
"We're proud of this carnival because it has become an institution in Barrington," said Selinda Coon, Grove School PTO president. "No other elementary school holds a community-wide event like this and proceeds from this event help other schools in the district in addition to Grove School."
Wrapped up in a warm blanket, Grove principal Dr. Cindy Kalogeropoulos worked the canival's ticket booth, as she does every year.
"This is our largest fundraiser of the year," Kalogeropoulos said. "We couldn't do it without the 400 plus parent volunteers that make this event happen. It's really a team effort and the kids have so much fun."