By SAMANTHA PIDDE

Planning efforts are underway for Mayfest’s return to Mount Carroll in 2022, event organizer Brandon Ballard told the Mount Carroll City Council Tuesday, Oct. 26.

"I wanted to come here and look at you face to face and say Mayfest is still on," Ballard said.

Plans call for the long-running community festival to be held on the former Shimer College campus as usual. However, with Shimer Square construction scheduled for next year, Ballard said Mayfest will look a little different.

He said he is working with the Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation (GROWTH) on plans for the festival, with activities at a different corner of the campus. Ballard said GROWTH could have said "no" to Mayfest, but did not. Instead, the group simply provided some extra rules regarding areas that will be closed off due to construction.

Ballard also offered the city options of other locations, including the downtown area or Point Rock Park. Mayor Carl Bates said the park would not be ideal due to too much water at that time. Either way, Ballard said he plans to scale down Mayfest next year to just one larger tent.

"Mayfest is changing," said Ballard. "A lot of the organizations that have been previously involved, aren't."

Ballard said the festival is "sitting good” financially, noting that when he took it over a couple of years ago, he had $1,000 in the bank. After the 2019 Mayfest, the account has $6,000.

Bates said the council will continue discussions on Mayfest and asked Ballard to return for the Dec. 14 meeting to begin making some decisions.

"I believe we support Mayfest and we want to have it," Mayor Bates said. "I'd like some normalcy next year."