Main Street Bash brings crowds downtown

Ronnie Torres of Evanston tosses a bean bag on Saturday during the second annual Main Street Bash cornhole tournament. The competition drew 27 two-person teams this year, more than doubling participation in last year’s inaugural event. (HERALD PHOTO/Sheila McGuire)

EVANSTON — The second annual Main Street Bash and Cornhole Tournament was held in downtown Evanston on Saturday, Oct. 3, and by all measures was a resounding success. The weather cooperated this year, unlike last year’s event that was held in frigid temperatures, which may have had something to do with the turnout.

While last year’s inaugural event featured 12 two-person cornhole teams, this year’s event had more than double that as 27 teams vied for the championship. Notably, the majority of this year’s new teams were from out of town, as folks traveled from Sweetwater County and Utah to participate.

In addition to cornhole boards and tournament competitors lining Main Street, local businesses both participated in the event and remained open later on Saturday to take advantage of the sales opportunities. Main Street Deli provided kids’ games, including a “not-so-spooky” spook alley, rock painting, Halloween activities and more.

Suds Bros. Brewery sold margaritas and brats at an outdoor booth and Kate’s offered drink service throughout the event, which featured a street closure and an open-container permit.  Downtown business Home Décor stayed open for extended Saturday hours and iSolvU Escape Rooms had a booth set up on Main Street for those interested in playing “House of sLaughter,” a short Halloween-themed game.

The event, hosted by Evanston Urban Renewal Agency and Main Street Program, along with Suds Bros, Main Street Deli and Kate’s, was a great success, according to Urban Renewal Coordinator Jane Law and City of Evanston Community Relations Specialist Mieke Madrid. “We think it went well, with a beautiful day, great turnout and lots of fun,” said Law.

“We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day,” said Madrid, “and I agree with Jane, it was a great success.” Law said the fundraiser event raised approximately $1,400, which will go toward purchasing Main Street lighting as part of an ongoing project to make the downtown district a go-to destination. The goal is to purchase lights to string across Main Street to create an inviting atmosphere and is similar to the project that has provided outdoor music in the downtown area.

The top finishers in the tournament were all from out of town, many of whom brought along friends and family members who spent the day in Evanston for the family-friendly event. First-place team was Team NUC, consisting of Shane Kearsley and Jim McKinnon; second place went to Kenny McCloskey and Zach Page of 307 Cornhole; and the third-place team was Ricky McGowan and Zach Gleason of Team G&R.

Law and Madrid said they are pretty sure the autumn Main Street Bash and Cornhole Tournament will become an annual event.

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