Long Grove village board members Tuesday agreed to keep an 11 p.m. closing time for six annual downtown festivals despite several residents expressing concern about the late hour through a petition they signed.
Village trustees approved the end time and the dates for the fests scheduled by the Downtown Long Grove Business Association. Long Grove's fests used to shut at 6 p.m., but some business owners who spoke said they have a better chance at turning a profit with longer festival hours.
"I think another reason for staying with 11 is that we're attracting ... younger than the average Long Grove resident," Trustee Bobbie O'Reilly said. "And those are the people that need to come here today, two years, five years from now. So, if we can hook 'em at 10:30, 11 o'clock on a festival, we're heading in the right direction."
Next year's downtown Long Grove lineup will begin with the Craft Beer Fest on April 27. It'll be followed by Chocolate Fest May 17-19, Strawberry Fest June 20-23, Vintage Days on Aug. 17, Irish Days on Aug. 31 and Apple Fest Sept. 19-22.
Ben Finch, founder of the Long Grove Residents Group, submitted the petition to the village board with the signatures of 38 homeowners concerned about the fests going to 11 p.m. and causing disruption, traffic congestion and other issues. He questioned why the annual outdoor bashes can't stop at 6 p.m. like before.
"Clearly, everybody is leaning in one direction," Finch told the board before the vote to approve the dates and the 11 p.m. closing.
Village President Bill Jacob said Robert Parker Coffin Road construction next year might prohibit all the festivals from being as big as patrons expect. He said he favored keeping the 11 p.m. end time for the fests in an effort to not harm the downtown businesses.
"We're not exactly sure how it's all going to work out because some parking lot spaces might be used for (construction) staging areas and so forth," Jacob said.
Ryan Messner, vice president of the Downtown Long Grove Business Association's executive committee, said the group will be prepared for the possibility of smaller festivals.
"We're not sure what's going to happen yet," Messner said.