ELMHURST – After last year's event was rained out, the Elmhurst Park District is hoping its second year running the Family Fall Fest will be a success.
The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 13 at Wild Meadows Trace in Elmhurst.
The district took over the coordination of the event from the York & Vallette Business Association last year because of the event's growth, but the 2017 event was canceled because of rain and several hours of storms, Community Events and Development Manager Pat O'Neill said.
"We hope that we have a dry Saturday this year," she said.
The event will be canceled if there is bad weather, but the district will make every effort to let people know if that will need to happen, O'Neill said. The district's indoor facilities at its parks are not big enough to house the expected crowds, and the event is meant to encourage people to enjoy the outdoors and the district's parks, she said.
The district has added face painting, a balloon animals artist and air-brushed temporary tattoos for this year's event, in addition to having children's games that sponsors will provide at their booths, O'Neill said. Games will include "life-sized" Connect 4, Jenga, Wheel of Fun and Plinko. There also will be a photo booth, crafting opportunities and an inflatable haunted house.
The district's mascot, Eco, a green raccoon, will be on site to entertain the children as well.
"He's really a fun character," O'Neill said.
Safety Town, a miniature Elmhurst community at Wild Meadows Trace that teaches children how to be safe bicyclists on the road, will host trick-or-treating for the event. O'Neill said the district chose to have the event at Wild Meadows Trace in part to bring an event to another geographical part of the community, as the district holds many events at Berens Park and Wilder Park.
The district hopes to draw 1,500 to 2,000 people for the event, which will "pack" the "tiny" park, she said. The free event attracts both Elmhurst residents and people from outside the community.
Sponsors of this year's event include The Schiller Team, Suburban Bank & Trust and Edward-Elmhurst Health.
Tim Schiller, a managing partner of The Schiller Team, said the real estate agency has been a sponsor for district events for several years, following in his parents' footsteps of decades of community involvement.
"It's just great for the community," Schiller said regarding the district's events.
He said he hopes the event will see good weather and a good turnout, with the community coming together for the children. A father of four children younger than age 7, Schiller plans to bring his family to the event.
"It's just awesome for the kids. .... It's an awesome, awesome time," Schiller said.
O'Neill said the district is looking for more volunteers, who can email her at email@example.com to sign up to help in various ways such as running games, passing out candy and helping with safety at the inflatable haunted house.
South Street will be closed from Arlington Avenue to York Street to accommodate the anticipated crowd, food trucks and sponsors, O'Neill said. The district's parking lot at York Commons will be available for event parking if attendees are unable to find parking near Wild Meadows Trace.
"I'm excited to see how it all comes together and how the community responds to it," she said.
If you go
WHAT: Elmhurst Park District's Family Fall Fest
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 13
WHERE: Wild Meadows Trace, 511 S. York St., Elmhurst