Large crowds expected for Harvest 5K, homecoming parade in Plainfield
By Madhu Mayer Correspondent September 26, 2013 7:34PM
Updated: October 28, 2013 6:02AM
Two major events in downtown Plainfield on upcoming weekends are expected to draw large crowds and test the patience of drivers as well.
Village trustees approved street closings for the 15th annual Harvest 5K on Sunday and the homecoming parade on Oct. 5.
A mile run for children will start at 8 a.m. Sunday, followed by the 5K run/walk at 9 a.m., beginning on Ottawa Street, next to Village Green Park. Affected streets will reopen by 11:30 a.m.
Organized by the Plainfield Area Chamber of Commerce, the event is Plainfield’s largest 5K event, expected to have a larger field than last year’s 1,363 participants and 3,500 spectators. A portion of the funds raised by the Harvest 5K goes to local charities and community service organizations.
The parade will be from 9 a.m. to noon, starting at Village Center Drive and Lockport Street and proceeding through downtown to Plainfield Central High School, Fort Beggs Drive and James Street.
Plainfield Police Chief John Konopek said the homecoming parade is the largest, one-day event in Plainfield. Last year’s event, he said, had 151 entries and drew an estimated 15,000 spectators.
“Staging of entries, bands and personnel begin at 6 a.m.,” he said. “Roads close at approximately 8:30 a.m. and remain closed until almost noon.”
Konopek said the homecoming parade is much more than a showcase for Plainfield School District 202.
“Many residents come out early to get their favorite viewing locations and stay to have lunch in our downtown restaurants,” he said.
He said the event poses a financial challenge. The 2012 parade cost the village $14,500 in overtime and manpower. Staff is anticipating a slight increase in cost this year, the chief said.
Konopek said Plainfield faced more crowd-control costs this year because its agreement ended with the Chicagoland Speedway racetrack to obtain fencing at no charge to keep spectators from entering Lockport Street during the parade.
Trustee Garrett Peck said he worked out an arrangement with Naperville for Plainfield to borrow fencing this year, but he suggested that Plainfield purchase fencing at a cost of about $13,500 for use at future parades and other village events.
Mayor Michael Collins said he was against using village funds for the homecoming and St. Patrick’s Day parades because they are not village-sponsored events.
Trustee Dan Rippy proposed using money from the police department’s asset-forfeiture account, which is funded by seizing assets used in criminal activity, mainly drug dealing. Collins said the village board will discuss that idea at a future committee meeting.