Community Invited to the Fall Festival at Danada Oct. 7 & 8, The Forest Preserve District's Largest Event of the Year
Thousands will attend free annual two-day event in Wheaton
Join a celebration of the horse and the fall season at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County’s Fall Festival at Danada on Saturday, Oct. 7, and Sunday, Oct. 8, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Danada Equestrian Center at 3S507 Naperville Road in Wheaton.
Over the course of the two-day event, the main outdoor arena will feature trick riding, vaulting, carriage driving, drill teams, and equine therapy demonstrations by various performers, including the Midwest Renegades, Chicago Vaulting, Stateline Hotshots Rodeo Drill Team, Stateline Spitfires Performance Drill Team, and Danada’s own drill team. A full performance schedule is available at dupageforest.org/fall-festival.
Visitors can meet Danada’s own Nick the Painting Horse and buy his artwork in the gift shop; tour the barn that once housed Kentucky Derby winner Lucky Debonair; and learn about horse care, grooming, and tack. They can also take horse-drawn wagon rides through the autumn woods.
Children can decorate their own paper hobbyhorses and then gallop around a special straw track and in the main arena, explore a hands-on nature exhibit, and enjoy interactive musical entertainment. Chicago’s own Grammy-nominated Wendy and DB will be on hand both days to perform original blues music from their “Into the Little Blue House” album. On Saturday, Firefly Family Theatre will spark young imaginations during their “Harvest Moon” interactive storytelling show that features original music, puppets, and movement. And kids of all ages won’t want to miss the giant bubble artistry compliments of the Forest Preserve District’s Kline Creek Farm.
On Sunday, breaks in the equestrian program will feature live music by local bluegrass recording artist Ashley Lewis.
“Fall Festival at Danada is one of the only free equestrian shows of its kind in DuPage County,” said Wayne Zaininger, the center’s manager. “This year we’re especially excited that in addition to offering two full days of equestrian performances, we’ve really expanded our children’s entertainment lineup,” he said.
Forest Preserve District President Dan Hebreard echoed his excitement. “The Fall Festival at Danada offers families a unique opportunity to celebrate horses and all things fall in beautiful natural surroundings,” he said.
Both days will have partner booths by the Bird Conservation Network and the DuPage Birding Club as well as the “Danada Nature Art and Photo Show,” a juried competition featuring local artists, at the Danada House. Saturday will feature booths by the DuPage Children's Museum and the Friends of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, who will be enlisting help to build snuffle mats for Willowbrook Wildlife Center’s animal patients and collecting items from the center’s wish list.
Food and beverages will be available for purchase by local vendors, including Bojos, La Cochina De Maria, and Motochef.
Fall Festival at Danada takes place rain or shine. Admission and parking are free, but there are fees for some activities (cash and check only).
The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has been connecting people to nature for more than 100 years. More than 5.5 million people visit its 60 forest preserves, 166 miles of trails, seven education centers, and scores of programs each year. For information, call 630-933-7200 or visit dupageforest.org, where you can also link to the District’s e-newsletter and Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok pages.
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