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Summerfest 2002 at Skydive Chicago Since Quincy had lost its magic touch and Rantoul had first to prove that going there is worth the effort, time and money, I decided to attend Summerfest 2002 at Skydive Chicago. What a scenic and perfect place for skydiving. Good, safe and interesting jumps for relative workers (thanks to Billy Weber, Sandy, JVC, Gary, Christopher (AZ Airspeed Team) and Roger Nelson for organizing) and for free flyers (with also world class skydivers for organizing) and canopy super swoopers.

Four Twin Otters (three of them with all the handles and steps on the outside you would want to ask for -) and a devided landing area for swoopers and regular approaches – very convenient for all of us. And of course, the diving deep pond for special canopy swoops - and for all others to dive, swim and have fun after jumping, especially the Hawaiian crowd ....... . :-))

And they do not just talk about a shaded and cool packing area inside the big hangar, they even provide it! Food is delicious, light and freshly prepared every time. Prices are on the high side for a dropzone, but its worth every penny.

Special Aspects for European skydivers (non Americans, coming from further away...): People are very friendly and helpful even to foreigners. It is easy to find new friends and get invited to their events like family type parties, barbecues at the DZ or in town....

But: You have to behave like an American (smile!!) and speak English all the time. Chances are great that your language (French might be easier to talk with the Canadians; Norwegian, Dutch, Swedish...harder) is not spoken at all. This can be kind of challenging, if you stay for a longer time. But again: everybody was very nice and so this was not really a matter.

Hotels in the area are within the normal price range and enough variety to chose of. Camping at the DZ is very scenic above the Fox river, sunset over the pond on the other side. But: the quiet place where you can find rest after jumping and partying must be somewhere else. Since many of the Americans just come here for a few days, they tend to party right by the tent all night long. This also applies to the canoe people and other visitors that spend just one night at the camping site.

So if you want to spend all your money on skydiving and prefer to get at least a few hours of sleep every night, this is not the place to stay. At Quincy at least from 3 to 6 am it was kind of quiet. Here most of the nights people partied all night long right in the tent area. You might want to consider this when planning your valuable vacation time.

Conclusion: Summerfest Chicago is an event that is definitely worth going to. I had a great time - many thanks to all the wonderful skydivers (and staff) I met there. For further information and pictures and skydive-videos!! please visit the Skydive Chicago web site.

Summerfest 2003 at Skydive Chicago Although everybody from the staff tried to do its best to get the boogie going the first Summerfest without Roger Nelson was clearly overshadowed by sadness.


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