Two of Long Grove's biggest festivals that draw patrons from across the suburbs will have a different downtown location due to summer road construction.
Village board members Tuesday night approved special event applications with corresponding locations for Craft Beer Fest, Chocolate Fest, Strawberry Fest, Vintage Days, Irish Days and Apple Fest. Board members at a previous meeting approved this year's dates and agreed to keep a maximum 11 p.m. closing time for the six annual downtown festivals.
Sponsored by the Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association, Strawberry Fest from June 20-23 and Apple Fest from Sept. 19-21 will have most of the action in a municipal parking lot, just south of the usual location on a barricaded stretch of Robert Parker Coffin Road.
Scheduled summer construction on Coffin Road is why the Apple and Strawberry festivals will shift this year to the Stemple parking lot near Buffalo Creek Brewing and the Chatter Box restaurant west of McHenry Road.
Ryan Messner, vice president of the Downtown Long Grove Business Association's executive committee, said with the Stemple lot accommodating the Strawberry and Apple extravaganzas, patrons will be encouraged to park in the Archer Road lot east of McHenry. He said tow trucks will be contracted to hook illegally parked cars.
Satellite parking for Apple and Strawberry will be available in a plaza with a shuttered Dominick's supermarket at Lake-Cook and Arlington Heights roads in Buffalo Grove. Messner said a shuttle bus will ferry visitors to the festivals. Chocolate, Apple and Strawberry are the top three fests in Long Grove. Apple and Chocolate are expected to draw an estimated 35,000 patrons over three-day runs, with Strawberry at 20,000 visitors.
Long Grove Trustee Rita O'Connor noted the popularity of the events and questioned whether the village is receiving a proper amount of sales tax from participating vendors. Trustee Anne Kritzmire suggested the village could try to track sales figures from the fests.
"I kind of feel like we're sitting here like chumps," O'Connor said.
Craft Beer Fest will be on April 27, followed by Chocolate Fest from May 17-19, Vintage Days on Aug. 17-18 and Irish Days from Aug. 31. to Sept. 2.