One of the great traditions of the Labor Day weekend — the Fox Valley Folk Music & Storytelling Festival — has been canceled for 2017 due to the damage done by the July flooding.
Island Park in Geneva, which has hosted the event for most if not all of the previous 40 years, was literally under water after the flooding that hammered Kane County for more than two weeks in July.
The Fox Valley Folk Music & Storytelling Festival is the largest folk festival in the state of Illinois and a must-see if you’re in Kane County over the Labor Day weekend, typically running on Sunday and Monday along the banks of the beautiful Fox River at Island Park, 2 E. State St. More than 30 folk musicians and storytellers typically perform over eight stages during the festival.
No so this year.
Island Park was under water for almost three weeks, and severe damage to the grass required reseeding of more than three-quarters of the island, festival organizers said on the festival website. As a result, the festival would have had to downsize from eight stages to two or three, eliminate most of the Folklife Organization Showcases, downsize or eliminate the arts area and funnel most foot, bike and vehicle traffic to the paved paths.
“Looking at our options, it became clear to us that the greatly reduced size, access, and quality of the experience for artists, audience and volunteers would have a very negative impact on this year’s festival,” the website says. “We consulted with our core staff and The Geneva Park District, and we unanimously agreed that cancelling was the only viable decision.”
Organizers said they tried to identify other locations, but the logistics were difficult and the cost was prohibitive.
“Thanks for helping to spread the word, the website says. “We’ll see you in 2018 — bigger and better!”