Wow, August already!! And soon to be September!! We will once again start the countdown to Christmas. (Deanna’s favorite season is upon us!) Has 2013 really slipped by that fast? Well, before we start taking our winter coats out of the closet, we probably still have a good 90 days or so of summer-like weather (based on our amateur meteorological skills) so there is still plenty of time to enjoy some of these great upcoming outdoor events and festivals that fill these pages. One of them that we attended last year, the Scottish Games, is coming up soon as well. If you have not been, make sure to dust off the kilts and bagpipes and put it on your calendar! You may also want to check out our video on the Local Happenings Magazine website from our visit last year and see what it is all about. (We would strongly recommend making time to visit the Scotch tasting tent!) Oktoberfest season is also fast approaching (which traditionally starts in late September and runs 16 days until the first weekend of October) so we will all have to pull out our lederhosen for that as well. Before these two festivals happen, we have the annual Labor Day cookout, the start of the football season, the end of the baseball season, music festivals, fairs, the grapes start coming in off the vines, you get the idea—lots to do! So make sure to use our online calendar to keep up with all the great events. We are always adding new ones submitted by our faithful readers so make sure to check back often.

Also on the horizon we will be opening up the voting once again for the Local’s Choice Awards. This is our 3rd Annual Contest and we want to hear from all of you about who are the best businesses and people in each of the three counties. Remember that you nominate them AND vote on them and then we publish the results in our February/March edition. We look forward to hearing from you and seeing if any of our 2012 winners will be able to repeat!! We have a special page in this edition (page 27)with all the details about voting so read it carefully. Check it out and determine who you will be voting for this year to be our 2014 winners!!! Keep in mind that, like Chicago politics, you can vote early and often since you can cast a vote every day for your favorites!!

We also have a plethora of family birthdays over the next couple of months, so we would like to say a hearty Happy Birthday to Barbara, Karen, John, Kenny, Dora, Yvonne, Harry, Patrick, Christopher & Clara. There are also lots of friends, like Krystle, Pippen, Laura, Freda, Cindy S., Therese, Laura F., Patty, Mel, Derrick, Rich, and . . . I am sure we are missing a few in there as well, but we only have so much space! Then of course our own Robert & Regina celebrate not only their birthdays but the anniversary of their nuptials as well. As we said: lots to do in the coming months and we will have to be checking our calendars as well to keep on top of everything!!!

Cheers to all of you until next time . . .

Robert with a beerRobert Briseño & Deanna and Ben for the webDeanna Baillie