The Independence Grove Forest Preserve in Lake County wasn’t always the beautiful 1100-acre botanical garden and recreation space that you may know it as today.

In fact, when Catering by Michaels was first given an opportunity to partner with Independence Grove in 1990, it was still a cement quarry. At the time, Catering by Michaels itself was a relatively young company, having been established only 5 years prior. At the time, we passed up on the opportunity to partner with Lake County Forest Preserves.

But when things are meant to be, they always find their way back to you.

When the development for Independence Grove was finally starting to come together, we were doing a lot of catering for a day camp event. It just so happened that one of the parents was a representative for the Lake County Forest Preserves, who loved our food so much that we were offered a 10-year exclusive partnership deal, which we accepted!

When development for Independence Grove was completed in 2001, we opened our office at the visitor center in January, and hosted our first event in March of the same year.

Summer Events at Independence Grove

Since then, several events, both corporate and social, have been hosted on the event grounds.

Did you know that our grounds are a favorite tourist attraction in Lake County, ranking just behind Six Flags and Great Wolf Lodge (formerly Key Lime Cove), with lots of outdoor activities and attractions, perfect for the warm weather?

This summer, the Independence Grove is hosting a series of outdoor concerts every Tuesday at 7:30pm.

De Hurricane Raggae Band kicks off the concert series, starting June 18. Other bands to look forward to include Rockin’ Fenderskirts, Adam Ezra Group, The North 41, and Rico.

Click here for entertainment schedules and additional details.

The Cafe at Independence Grove

The summer concert series coincides with the reopening of The Cafe at Independence Grove, which closed for the winter season and resumes operations on May 24, 2019. The cafe, which is conveniently located near the beach, offers spectacular views of the water and marina. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a snack after the shows or to refuel after participating in outdoor activities around the preserve.