Amid record flooding, organizers on Saturday canceled the Algonquin Founders' Days Festival scheduled for next weekend.
"As residents of Algonquin, we have worked tirelessly day and night, juggling work schedules and family lives while putting our heart and soul in attempting to pull together the best festival for our community," a statement from event organizers read. [[435902593, C]]
"It has come to the point that as a community, we all need to concentrate our efforts on the residents that are in most need of help," the statement continued. "The Founders’ Committee and the Village believe strongly in this community and now is the time when all of us need to focus on what our town needs most."
The event, slated for July 27-30, was moved earlier in the week from its original location at Riverfront Park, on Harrison St. directly next to the Fox River, to Algonquin Lakes Elementary School, which is on Compton Drive about two miles south. [[434281383, C]]
However, organizers said Saturday that "the Fox River just has not cooperated" and "resources have been overextended," prompting the decision to cancel the festival for the first time in its 57-year history.
Riverfront Park, as well as Cornish Park, Towne Park and several local streets, remain closed to the public as volunteers and emergency officials sandbag the area. [[434038743, C]]
The Fox River (with a flood stage of 9.5 feet) was at 13 feet Saturday morning following heavy rainfall from overnight storms Friday. It had crested Thursday at around 12.82 feet, according to the village of Algonquin.
"Now more than ever, we rely on our community for support and now your community needs you," organizers said. "Although not having a festival will financially hurt Algonquin Founders’ Days Inc., it pales in comparison with what our residents are going through and the devastating personal losses they will incur." [[434290393, C]]
"While you would support Founders’ financially by coming out to the festival, we’re asking that you instead turn your support to the community and offer your time until this dire situation is rectified," they added.