Two things are certain this summer: There will be downtown road construction in Plainfield and there will be downtown festivals.
Despite, and also because of, planned construction on Lockport Street that's scheduled to last all summer, MainStreet Plainfield is looking to hold its annual events as usual, including Spring Fest.
The festival is planned from 10 a.m. to midnight May 17 and noon to 6 p.m. May 18 in downtown Plainfield, and will include vendor booths, rides and food.
Village officials have approved closing portions of Lockport, Des Plaines and Chicago streets from Friday night, May 16, through Sunday evening, May 18.
Since half of Lockport Street will be under construction at a time, the festival will be set up on the other half, as well as in parking lots off Lockport Street.
MainStreet officials have said they want to maintain the organization's schedule of events, including summertime Cruise Nights and Hawg Nights.
"We are not sad (the Lockport Streetscape project) is happening; we are excited," said Jen Protrawski, MainStreet Plainfield's vice president. "It does take a lot of coordination. But it's possible."
Artists, food and entertainment will fill Settlers Park, located near Village Hall, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 7 and 8 during an art fair planned by the Plainfield Art League and Kiwanis Club.
Plainfield Park District officials are planning to replace the district's annual weekend Plainfield Fest with a one-day family-oriented event this year. The traditional festival set-up wouldn't fit on Lockport Street while it's under construction.
Park staff members are planning the event in Village Green park and have reached out to area nonprofit organizations, hoping some will agree to be joint sponsors.
Local organizations that regularly hold events downtown had been looking for ways to avoid closing Lockport Street, which can snarl traffic and hurt some downtown businesses, the owners say.
Last fall MainStreet Plainfield changed its annual Harvest Fest from a weekend event to a one-day promotion that did not close Lockport Street.
But village officials are looking for ways to draw people downtown during the construction project and have encouraged groups to continue planning their events as usual.
MainStreet is also planning two shopping events this month, including "Girls Night Out" from 4 to 9 p.m. Feb. 23 and a Leap Day Sale on Feb. 29.
For more information about the Lockport Streetscape project, visit www.plainfield streetscape.com.
Sun-Times News Group