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Local Editorials

Our view: No place like downtown for food, music this weekend

Bridge Street (Route 47) in downtown Yorkville.
Bridge Street (Route 47) in downtown Yorkville.

Downtown Yorkville will become a destination for music, craft beer fans and runners this Friday and Saturday, June 22 and June 23, as Law Office Pub plays host to the annual Summer Solstice Fest along the south bank of the Fox River in Riverfront Park.

Since its inception the festival has featured up and coming musical acts, selected by organizer Boyd Ingemunson and his singer-songwriter friend, Cory Chisel. For example, back in 2013 Sturgill Simpson performed on the Solstice stage as a relative unknown. This past year, he won a Grammy Award for "A Sailor's Guide to Earth" as best country album. Not too bad for Simpson or Yorkville.

But Summer Solstice isn't just about music, the fest also features a 4 mile run and two mile walk on Friday that steps off at 7 p.m. The all ages run and walk are being held in partnership with Yorkville High School's state champion cross country program.

Through its continuing success, Summer Solstice has become an important complimentary event to the emerging restaurants scene in the downtown. Those restaurants, including Crusade Burger Bar, Rowdy's and Southbank Barbecue, all have their dedicated fans and continue to lure diners to the downtown area from throughout the Fox Valley area.

And, as we report this week, diners have yet another reason to head downtown with the opening of Capitano Deli & Sweets a few doors south of Rowdys on the east side of Bridge Street. Capitano features cold and hot sandwiches, soups, and salads, as well as Boar's Head meat and cheese by the pound. In addition to the deli, a sweets shop in the store, called Piccolo & Dolce, features old fashioned candy like salt water taffy sold in bulk, as well as stuffed animals and other small toys for sale.

Over the years we've seen many changes in the city's downtown from the departure of the small retail stores that once lined Bridge Street to the widening of Route 47 to four lanes and the construction of River Front Park. Looking back, not all of the changes have been positive, but they've been largely unavoidable due to the city's growth and shifting retail market forces. Today, the downtown area continuous to be very much a work in progress, but we're enjoying watching the downtown become a destination place for diners and community festivals.

We hope you and yours take the time this Friday and Saturday to stop downtown and enjoy the Summer Solstice festival and check out one of the downtown eateries--if you haven't done so already. There's no reason any more to have to drive out of town to enjoy good food, great music and a pleasant evening along the banks of the Fox River.

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