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It's Back-2-School Blast time Saturday at Nowell Park

Karen Sorensen | 8/4/2015, 3:12 p.m.
Come for the free backpacks, and stay for the entertainment, music, games, giveaways, free food and so much more.
A boy checks out the scaly skin of a lizard that was part of the reptile show at last year's Back-2-School Blast in Joliet's Nowell Park. Times Weekly file photo

There's no shortage of fun on the main stage of the Back-2-School Blast, where various acts will entertain the audience starting at 11 a.m. Saturday at Nowell Park in Joliet.

Times Weekly file photo

There's no shortage of fun on the main stage of the Back-2-School Blast, where various acts will entertain the audience starting at 11 a.m. Saturday at Nowell Park in Joliet.

No one wants to spend their day in a classroom learning reading, writing and 'rithmatic, but if you have to head back -- do it with a blast!

A Back-2-School Blast, that is. The annual end-of-the-summer party starts at 11 a.m. Saturday at Joliet's Nowell Park, and not only will there be free food, entertainment and games, attendees will also receive free backpacks.

"It's a great family event that's unique and not like anything else held in town," spokeswoman Tamika Archibald said. "This is a fun day for everyone. ... We say it's back to school because it's that time of year, but it's really just an excuse to come out and have fun."

The fourth-annual family event is sponsored by The Times Weekly, the Joliet Park District and Shiloh Baptist Church in Lockport. Nowell Park is located at the corner of Chicago Street and Doris Avenue.

Carnival-style games are among the highlights of the annual Back-2-School Back, co-sponsored by The Times Weekly, the Joliet Park District and Shiloh Baptist Church.

Times Weekly file photo

Carnival-style games are among the highlights of the annual Back-2-School Back, co-sponsored by The Times Weekly, the Joliet Park District and Shiloh Baptist Church.

There will be entertainment for all ages of kids, including face painting, bounce houses, carnival-style games, costumed characters and basketball. Expect live music and tunes spun by DJs, and don't miss any of the performers who will be on the main stage.

The WBNA Sky basketball team is sending their mascot, and the Joliet Slammers team member will be signing autographs.

In addition to free backpacks, free school supplies, giveaways and drawings will be provided by event sponsors and family-related vendors who have booths set up at the event.

Last year's Blast attracted more than 3,500 people, and it could be even higher this year, Archibald said.