Rainy Days Affect Local Festivals

Rainy Days Affect Local Festivals

Storms early Friday made setup difficult, but the fun must go on!
Rachael Kaye
Rachael Kaye
A lot of kids were back to school this week, but that doesn't mean summer is over.

From Old Settlers Days to Sweet Corn Blues Festival, lots of local festivals are going on this weekend.  And with events all across central Illinois, there is something for everyone.

But the weather caused a few minor hitches during setup this morning.

Organizers from some of the events gave Meteorologist Rachael Kaye a few laughs this afternoon.

Bill Roeder, the Peoria Park District Superintendent, joked at Erin Feis, saying, "You know, it didn't rain here.  I don't know, what did you have?  We had nothing... It rained terrible."

Laurie Whitmore, the Heritage Days Chairman, said, "You were going to bring me the forecast.  I'm thinking it's not good, right?"

Things did clear up, though, and the forecast is looking mostly dry for the rest of the night tonight.  Tomorrow still has a chance for some early rain and scattered storms.

But even without the rain, wet grounds pose problems for some organizers.

Heritage Days is set up on a ball park.  Bill Libolt, the Heritage Days Treasurer, said, "The grounds are too wet and soggy, and we're going to have cookers out here and electricity.  And so we would just rather not have anybody get hurt."

They planned to hold the event indoors tonight, but the sunshine came back just in time.

Dunlap Days, which is even bigger this year than it was last year, has brought in a full carnival until Saturday.  Organizers do not have their own indoor alternative, but are working hard to keep the main tent clear.

Dale Bishop, Dunlap Village Superintendent, said, "We got the entertainment tent and beer tend set up yesterday for JammSammich tonight, and this morning around 4 o'clock when the storms hit, we came down and the water on top of the tend had taken them down."

They will be monitoring the tent closely tonight to make sure no more rain builds up.

But wind can be a problem too.  Erin Feis crews had battles of their own this morning.

Roeder said, "We were up setting up in the morning, and of course there was some pretty nasty winds that came through here last night.  So we had one tent that went swimming in the river."

All of this weather has meant more work for the organizers.  But it shouldn't stop anybody from attending!  The festivals will continue through the weekend.

And what a better way to have some fun after the first week of school than with balloon animals or bagpipes?
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