Frankfort Fall Festival to have a Halloween theme

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Thrilling art: Alexis Heabel (right), a recent graduate of Lincoln-Way Central High School, and Frankfort Fall Festival chair, Colleen Mora, show off the design done by Heabel that won a poster contest in which this year's festival theme, "Fright Fest: It's a Thriller," was incorporated. | Supplied photo

Colleen Mora loves her community and relishes the opportunity she has to serve as chairman of this year’s Frankfort Fall Festival.

She also likes the perks that accompany the job. There’s the opportunity to select the theme of this year’s festival, and selecting the festival’s co-chair and the parade’s grand marshal.

For Mora, all three choices were no-brainers.

Easy choice

She chose as the theme of this year’s festival “Fright Fest: It’s a Thriller.”

Mora said deciding on the Halloween theme was simple.

“I love Halloween. It’s my favorite holiday. It just brings me back to when I was a little girl,” she said. “It’s one of those holidays where there is no pressure. There are no gifts to buy or people to visit.

“Kids dress up in cute costumes and go through the neighborhoods with their friends or parents and trick-or-treat. The leaves are turning colors and the nights are getting cooler. It’s just a great time of the year.”

A children’s costume contest will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday with the winner having the opportunity to ride with Mora on the parade float on Sunday. The winner of the float that best represents the Halloween theme will receive the “Frankie” trophy.

In keeping with the Halloween theme, craft and food vendors are encouraged to decorate their booths.

Mora and other festival volunteers have been working on a dance routine that the late Michael Jackson made famous in his monstrously popular song “Thriller.” The group will perform the dance routine during the festival.

And the winner is ...

Organizers this year asked the four community high school art departments to have their students incorporate this year’s theme onto a poster.

From the more than 40 entries, Alexis Heabel was selected the winner for her water-colored rendition of the Old Plank Road Trail with kids in costume walking and running down the popular trail.

Heabel recently graduated from Lincoln-Way Central High School and is enrolled at Joliet Junior College, where she hopes to pursue a career as an author and illustrator of children’s books. She will be at Breidert Green signing copies of her winning poster during the festival.

Heabel said she spent a lot of time thinking about the theme before putting her ideas to watercolors.

“I thought about my audience and I thought about creating something that would represent the festival,” she said. “To me, that would be a family-friendly theme with children.”

Heabel said she was so excited to learn that her entry won the poster contest that she broke down and cried happy tears. Heabel credits Paul Faris, her L-W Central art teacher, for all his support during her four years in high school.

While she is enrolled at Joliet Junior College, Heabel plans on applying to the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design. She is hoping to be accepted there and begin studies in the spring.

“That would be a dream come true,” she said.

Mora’s pick to serve as co-chair of the festival was Keith Ogle, who she refers to as “my right arm.”

Ogle is a Frankfort resident, a local business owner and a “good friend” who has worked with Mora on the festival the last four years.

Mora’s selection for parade grand marshal was Cole Cunningham, an eighth grader at Hickory Creek Middle School and cancer survivor.

“Halloween is scary and frightening,” she said. “Cancer is scary and frightening and Cole faced cancer with the courage of a superhero. He has fought hard and he has beaten this disease. To me, Cole is a real hero.”

“I feel lucky to have been able to select two people whom I am so proud of to help with the festival,” Mora said. “Keith and Cole are huge assets and are just like the group of other wonderful volunteers we have here that makes this festival such a success.”

For more information about the festival, please visit the Frankfort Chamber of Commerce online at or the fall festival’s website at