Elmfest: Gone, But Not Forgotten

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June 22, 2017
Click HERE or scroll to image below to view News & Notes column as published in the Elmhurst Suburban Life on June 20

It’s been nearly a decade since the Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce & Industry, recognizing the financial challenges of the Great Recession (December 2007 to June 2010) still in its infancy, pulled the plug on the annual community celebration known as Elmfest.

From its modest roots as Sample Elmhurst in 1983 over Memorial Day weekend, Elmfest matured into an Illinois Festival Association award-winning event held over the second full weekend in June—come rain or shine, heat or cold, a half dozen Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls’ National Basketball Association Championship or Father’s Day every four years.

With long-time corporate sponsors regretfully suspending their financial support and the City of Elmhurst’s encumbered with the costs for police, fire and public works, the ECCI Board of Directors made the sound decision prior to the 2009 festival to simply walk away after 26 years.

Still today Elmfest remains a part of Elmhurst’s summer fun, if only in bits and pieces.

In 2009—as forerunner to today’s Rock the Block Party—our Chamber partnered with Elmhurst City Centre to stage a series of summer concerts in downtown Elmhurst.  City Centre’s Third Annual Party returns to York and Schiller streets on September 9-10.

In the last 1980s, Elmfest’s Beer Garden featured Elmhurst-brewed Baderbrau, a Czech-style pilsner beer.  On September 17, 30-plus craft beer vendors and micro-breweries will participate in the Third Annual Elmhurst Craft Beer Fest at the Elmhurst History Museum, co-presented by the Elmhurst Heritage Foundation and Rotary Club of Elmhurst.

In charge of both an entertainment stage and playground as an Elmhurst co-organizer, the Elmhurst Park District will stage its Fifth Annual Park Palooza at Berens Park on August 19, featuring live music, beer and wine garden, and food truck.

And the 28th Annual Elmhurst Jaycees Charity Carnival, an Elmfest staple, returns to Park Avenue from August 18-20.

Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce 

300A W Lake St Suite 201, Elmhurst, IL 60126