Mayfest 2019 plans are moving forward, and the annual music and arts tradition will be returning to its home on the former Shimer College campus in Mount Carroll on Memorial Day weekend, May 24-26, organizers said last week.

After 36 consecutive years of Mayfest in Mount Carroll tradition beginning in 1982 through 2017, event planners in 2018 were unable to secure the necessary resources and plans to bring people together.

The new Mount Carroll Mayfest has secured a facility use agreement with the Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation, the new owners of the former Campbell Center property, which had served as Shimer’s home for over a century.

"We are excited for Mayfest to return to the Shimer campus and look forward to working with your group," wrote Brian Hollenback, president and CEO of Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation, to Brandon Ballard, who is heading up the Mayfest Steering Committee.

"We recently received two huge donations from the Mount Carroll Lions Club and from the Mount Carroll Rotary Club to jumpstart things,” said festival organizer Ballard.

“Mayfest is in a rebuilding year,” added Ballard. “We are going to make the best Mayfest possible this year, but we are looking at all the costs associated with the festival to see if they can be done in different ways that set the groundwork and the infrastructure for success not only this year but for many years to come."

Unfortunately, said Ballard, Mount Carroll Mayfest is essentially starting from scratch financially and will need to secure donations for the entire 2019 festival budget. He said there are a number of ways to donate for those who are interested in helping:

•Mail donations to: Mount Carroll Mayfest 601 E. Silk St. Mount Carroll, IL 61053.

•Donations in cash or check can be made at TBK Bank in Mount Carroll to the Mount Carroll Mayfest account.

•Online donations can be made through PayPal to email address:

•If you or your company are interested in donating your time or goods, or if you are interested in sponsoring a specific part of Mayfest (a specific band you love, kids zone activities, stage/sound, art show, civil war re-enactment, etc.), please contact

“All donations go directly to Mount Carroll Mayfest,” said Ballard. “Mount Carroll Mayfest is now an IRS 501(c)(3) private foundation and your donations qualify as tax deductible. If you would like a receipt, please ask when donating.”

Also, said Ballard, for those handier with a hammer, there will be a Campus Construction Day Saturday, April 27, starting at 9 a.m. to rebuild and paint the original Mayfest stage.

Carpenters and contractors interested in helping, or anyone looking to donate time or supplies, including paint, plywood and roofing shingles, is asked to contact

If weather would cancel plans, make- up day will be the following Saturday, May 4.

Vendors can sign up at the Mayfest Vendor sign-up page:

Runners and walkers can sign up at the Mayfest 5K sign-up page:

Paper forms for vendor and 5K sign-up also can be picked up at the Mirror-Democrat office in downtown Mount Carroll.

For questions or more information, call 630-338-7540 or email