Locals react with 2019 Young at Heart Festival cancelled

Published: Nov. 16, 2018 at 12:01 PM CST
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Updated: Nov. 16, 2018, 4:49 p.m.

A popular Loves Park festival is being put on hold this summer. 23 news spoke with The Parks Chamber of Commerce about why they made this decision and how they're looking for help to keep this tradition alive in the future.

"It really makes me sad. I feel like so many of the things that used to be sort of unique to this area have gone by the wayside," said Erin Fisher, festival attendee.

Fisher has been attending the young at Heart Festival since she was a kid. Fisher along with many others was emotional when they heard the Memorial day festival was being suspended.

"It was a huge part of it sort of marked the end of the school year beginning of the summer. All of us kids would love to go," said Fisher.

"This was kind of a surprise. It has been around for so long and it has been a nice thing to go to see live music and bands we don't normally have around here," said Valerie Campbell, festival attendee.

The Parks Chamber of Commerce made this difficult decision because of the decrease in attendance, rising costs and the safety for those in attendance because the property has become an active construction zone.

"There has also been some remediation demanded by the EPA for the space on the grounds. This is going to cut down parking substantially for the property in 2019," said Craig Carlson, president of the Parks Chamber of Commerce.

Although the Parks Chamber of Commerce will no longer host this event. They are confident in finding someone else to keep this tradition alive.

"A great festival that has a rich history in our community. My hope and intent are that it does move forward with another organization that does these types of festivals and can make it even bigger and better in the future," said Carson.

The Young at Heart festival may be coming to an end but the city will still be hosting the Young at Heart Parade and firework show in 2019. Any organizations interested in taking over the festival are encouraged to contact the Parks Chamber of Commerce office.


Published: Nov. 16, 2018, 12:00 p.m.

A popular Loves Park festival will be put on hold for 2019.

The Young at Heart festival will be suspended due to declining attendance, financial losses and safety concerns with construction around the area, according to the Parks Chamber of Commerce.

Despite the decision, Loves Park will continue to hold the Young at Heart parade and fireworks show in 2019.

The festival opened in August 1972 to celebrate Loves Park's 25th birthday. It was the longest-running festival around the Loves Park and Machesney Park area.