Plainfield Fest Is Returning, Carnival And All

PLAINFIELD, IL — After a year-long hiatus following a few years of declining attendance, Plainfield Fest will return at the end of June, carnival and all.

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From June 28-30, locals and visitors will once again have the chance to enjoy carnival rides, hear live music, attend a craft show, interact with friendly animals at a petting zoo, and participate in the Midwest Bags Tournament.

“We’re going to make it as nice as we possibly can,” said Margie Bonuchi, a trustee on the Village Board and president of the Plainfield Riverfront Foundation since March 2022.

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The beloved event will take over Village Green, with the carnival being set up at the north end of Plainfield Central High School, 24120 W. Fort Beggs Drive.

Serving as the main fundraiser for the Riverfront Foundation, Plainfield Fest will raise money for a roughly $140,000 lighting project underway along the Fox River, according to Bonuchi. The organization is working to install about 18 old-fashioned light fixtures on a path that runs toward the foundation’s property at 24321 W. Lockport St.

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The once-annual summer festival that drew thousands to Plainfield took a year off in 2023 because, without a carnival, the event wasn’t profitable, Mayor John Argoudelis previously told Patch.

The cancellation came after a few years of turbulence.

In 2020, the annual fest was disrupted due to COVID-19 and restrictions that forced its cancellation. The next year, organizers at the foundation nixed the beloved carnival portion of the festival that drew in throngs of couples and families with children alike, citing a lack of space for the rides. In 2022, the carnival once again did not return.

Without a carnival, the main attractions of Plainfield Fest became the Midwest Bags Tournament, food trucks, a beer tent and live music.

RELATED: Plainfield Fest ‘Has Run Its Course,’ Won’t Return In July: Mayor

Its comeback is made possible in part by Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202. The Riverfront Foundation partnered with the school district to use Plainfield Central High School to host various carnival rides. District leaders’ approval “kicked the ball up really fast,” Bonuchi said.

Unlike previous years, the carnival will be fenced in. It will feature the same amount of rides, games and food, but organizers will have a little more control of the area, Bonuchi said.

Village Green, off Chicago and Des Plaines streets, will be home to a craft show, the petting zoo and various vendors. Similar to past festivals, the Midwest Bags Tournament will be held on Sunday in the beer tent area. Bonuchi said the pizza contest might also return but will be dependent on volunteers.

As of the end of February, Des Plaines Street, from about Chicago to Oak streets, will be the only street that will shut down for Plainfield Fest, according to Bonuchi. She said there are currently no plans to close Lockport Street due to traffic and parking concerns as well as out of courtesy to the businesses along the bustling thoroughfare.

“We’re trying to not hurt the businesses. we’re trying to be positive for them,” she said.

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