McHenry Fiesta Days 2022
McHenry Fiesta Days has been a staple event here in McHenry, IL for the last 74 years. When I started my photography career, I knew to get my name out there, I would need to attend these kinds of events, with my camera, to capture the fun going on. I eventually got in contact with the McHenry Chamber of Commerce to see if they wanted to use my photos for their marketing. The images they had in the past were of low quality and I knew I could provide more. I also knew it would be a good way to get my foot in the door so I, of course, was excited when they said yes. I now have been the official photographer of this event for the last 5 years. Originally, I was not paid to do this, but did work for tradeoffs, but once they saw the quality of my work, the energy I put in, I am now fully paid, not only for this event, but for many local photoshoots here in McHenry County because of it. Between working with the Chamber, Naturally McHenry County, City of McHenry, the Town Planner, and the many other business relationships I have made over the last 5 years, I have become one of McHenry’s favorite photographers.
To give you a little idea of what McHenry Fiesta Days is, it’s 11 days of great music, food, drinks, and family fun! The first week (at Petersen Park) starts with their annual Cask and Barrel Night on Thursday, followed by Music Fest weekend. Sunday there is the Car Show and Beach Bash (free admission), which includes more live music, games and activities for the kids, and the beach is open. After this, Fireworks go off. There is also a carnival which runs the first weekend only. The second week events are in Veterans Memorial Park and downtown McHenry. They include the Concert in the Park, Arts and Crafts in the Park, and the Parade. Local businesses also host their own sales and specials, and it really is a large community event, hosted by our McHenry Chamber of Commerce.
I truly look forward to this event each year, despite the lack of sleep I get, because I am a very community focused person. Bringing memories and joy to my hometown is second to none. This year not only was I the photographer, but I was also part of the committee and took on the role of social media and marketing for this event. If you attended, you also saw me serving beer, handing out wrist bands, checking bags, putting up chairs and setting up and taking down the event. With McHenry Chamber being a non-profit, volunteering is key to making this event happen so giving back and putting in my time is important to me. It is also important we have amazing sponsors, like, Gary Lang Auto Group, who have been so helpful in making this event succeed year after year. Now, I have not been around for all 74 years, but I can say that traditions are meant to be kept going and I’m happy to be a part of the push to keep this going for, hopefully, another 74 years! Because this is a nonprofit event, all proceeds go back into making the event bigger and better for the next year. We are excited to host 75 years next year, as a “throwback” year, bringing back some McHenry staples to provide decades worth of memories in our fun!
This event has given me many opportunities to build my photo business, get my name out there, as well as photograph national acts like Jameson Rodgers and Dylan Scott. It also gave me credibility to be chosen to photograph other amazing bands for our RISE UP event, with Chase Rise, Brently Gilbert, Austin Burke, Zach Miller and more. I can’t wait to attend and photograph again for this years RISE UP event, going on in September 2022.
I currently offer a wide range of photography services, but my favorite is here, shooting for our community to showcase why McHenry County is a wonderful place to live, eat, drink and shop! I hope you enjoy a small collection of images I took from this year’s Fiesta Days event and if you want to see all of them, you can by following my Facebook and Instagram accounts!