Voted Best Festival in McHenry County by the Northwest Reader’s Choice Awards!


The Dole Cancels Lakeside Festival 

The Dole Mansion needs you NOW more than ever!

Crystal Lake, Illinois – July 10th, 2020 Did you know that the Lakeside Festival is over 40 years of tradition in Crystal Lake and is The Dole’s largest fundraiser? The Dole produces the annual Fest as a July 4th celebration for Crystal Lake and all surrounding communities.  Although some non-profits get outside government help, all financial support for The Dole comes from our own fundraising efforts and donations from individual community members and businesses.

“We are obviously very disappointed to announce that we are canceling the 2020 Lakeside Festival.  We had postponed the Festival from the July 4th weekend and were looking at dates in September. As much as we were looking forward to this fun family event, we must remain vigilant and focused on the safety and well-being of our community and take measures to reduce the spread of this pandemic. I look forward to 2021 when we can come together as a community to celebrate the 4th of July at the Lakeside Festival.” said Fest Co-Chair Ron Russell. Check our website for updates.”

To survive through our current ‘bare-bones operations’ for the rest this year 2020 and into 2021, The Dole needs to raise over $500,000 to maintain the historic building and pay the mortgage while retaining a skeleton staff.  We have raised $154,000 as of 7/10/20 and we need the community’s help.

It’s that simple. If we don’t raise the money, over 40 years of Lakeside Festival traditions will cease to exist and what the community has built will no longer be. The Dole Mansion needs you NOW more than ever!

It is unthinkable to see the end of The Dole, the annual Lakeside Festival, no community art shows such as those for District 155 or District 47 schools, no live music concerts outdoors or in ‘the Listening Room’, no 4th Fridays Art Event, no culinary kitchen gatherings and the end of continuing education from The Dole.

The Dole is brainstorming and working to be compliant with the State’s Phase 4 guidelines, in holding limited capacity, appropriately socially distanced fundraisers. If we are able to produce these fundraisers, we assure you we will follow the guidelines to keep our community safe, bring awareness to our needs, and to show the community the bigger plan of what we have to offer McHenry County for years to come.

“We were on an upward trajectory plan for sustainability as “A New Day at The Dole” but COVID-19 derailed that and we once again need the support of our community.” Nancy Merkling & Janet Kay Co-Executive Directors.

We need the financial support of EVERY family, friend, neighbor, and loyal supporter like YOU to help see us through this crisis. Just think of what you normally spend at Fest each year and please consider donating that amount or even more if you can to Save The Dole 2.0! Go to to make an online donation.

Let’s all work together to keep the 40-year tradition of Lakeside Festival continuing another 40 years.  We need your support NOW!

Lakeside Legacy Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization. Our continuing vision is to provide and foster innovative arts education and provide a community destination that enriches the lives of those we serve. Lakeside Legacy Foundation’s year-round programs include 4th Fridays Art Event, live music performances in ‘the Listening Room’, LATE NIGHT at the Dole, a diverse selection of community art events, youth culinary arts programming, historic tours of the mansion and much more.






Thank you to our donors/sponsors for their support. Please visit their businesses.

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