Vernon Hills received a surprise Friday night when a Grammy Award-winning singer made a last-minute decision to visit and entertain with some pals at the village’s annual festival.
North Shore resident Richard Marx joined headliner Vertical Horizon on the main stage at Vernon Hills Summer Celebration. Marx was not on the official Summer Celebration entertainment schedule.
Vernon Hills Village Manager Mike Allison said word about Marx’s intention to jump on the Summer Celebration stage for a few songs came late Friday afternoon from event organizers.
He said Marx knows Vertical Horizon members.
“He’s just playing with some friends,” Allison said.
At least 4,000 patrons were expected at Friday night’s Vernon Hills Summer Celebration at Century Park, just north of Route 60 and Lakeview Parkway.
Marx snagged a Grammy in 2004 for the song “Dance with My Father,” which he cowrote with Luther Vandross. He’s best known for “Endless Summer Nights,” “Right Here Waiting” and “Now and Forever.”
Summer Celebration’s featured act today will be The Smithereens at 9 p.m. The event’s finale will be from 1 to 9 p.m. Sunday.