By Vinde Wells
The village board agreed last week to give its financial support to this year’s Fourth of July festival in Mt. Morris.
The board voted May 9 to pay $500 toward the estimated $1,000 cost of the portable toilets needed for the Let Freedom Ring Festival, which is scheduled for July 1, 2 and 4.
The LFR Committee had asked the board for 25 to 50 percent of the cost.
Committee member Sarah Morris told the board about a new fundraiser the committee is planning.
For a fee, Morris said, a resident can have a flock of plastic pink flamingos placed in someone else’s yard.
The flamingos will be wearing Uncle Sam-style hats, she said, in keeping with the festival’s patriotic theme.
If the recipient of the flamingos is upset by them, Morris said a committee member will come and get them.
“We will have someone on stand-by to remove them immediately,” she said.
A resident can also buy “anti-flock” insurance to prevent himself or herself from becoming a recipient of the flamingos.
In another matter, the board approved two requests from Sharky’s Sports Bar & Grill, 3 N. Wesley Ave., to close the street for beer gardens.
The first will be held on Friday, June 30 from 5 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. and on Sunday, July 2 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Steve Rossi, one of the bar’s owners, asked the village to block Wesley Avenue from Ill. 64 to Main Street.
He agreed that he will not play music outside until after 9 p.m. on June 30 because of the Friday night concert at the band shell a block away.
Resident Dave Warkins objected to the street closure before and during the concert, which begins at 7 p.m.
Some of the concerts have drawn several hundred people, he said, and the street closure could create traffic and parking problems.
Those unfamiliar with Mt. Morris may have difficulty finding the band shell if the street is closed, Warkins said.
Village president Dan Elsasser said the intersection of Wesley and Main will not be blocked off which will alleviate part of the problem.
He also directed Rossi to place signs along Ill. 64 directing concert traffic to the band shell.
Sharky’s second street closure request was for Saturday, Sept. 2 at 12 p.m. to at least 1 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 3 for a Labor Day festival.
Rossi said he plans to have six bands and bags and dart tournaments outside and wants to be open until 2 a.m. for the event.
He said the beer garden will not be associated with Wounded Warriors as similar previous events have been.