Dear Editor:

To the citizens and friends of Mount Carroll:

We would like to start this letter with a huge thank you to everyone who helped with Mayfest 2019. We had a couple of large donations come through that allowed us to bring in some big bands, which helped make Memorial Day Weekend feel like the Mayfest that we remember. And with your help again this year, we will make Mayfest 2020 even bigger and better.

A huge shout-out to those individuals that braved the crazy weather last spring on those days we worked on the Mayfest stage. Seeing members of the community come together to tear out the old stage and rebuild it was truly inspiring.

The stage is now bigger and stronger and should provide us with a great stomping ground for many years to come. A big special thank you to Fred Paschke and the Mount Carroll Home Center for their assistance, both financially and logistically.

Thanks to some timely donations last spring, we were able to purchase stage risers to create a second stage under the beer tent. Now with two stages, the sound team has quicker turn around on bands and we have a protected stage during adverse weather.

This new stage set-up has allowed us to reduce our yearly expenses by almost $4,000 by not renting the mobile stage trailer each year. For 2020, we could really use your help in Phase 2 of the Stage Rebuild, which includes tearing down the dilapidated stage roof and building a new one.

We are happy to announce that we have secured use of the Shimer College quad again and have booked our headliners for the 2020 Mount Carroll Mayfest May 22-24.

Friday night will be Back Country Roads, Saturday night will be Travelin' Band (CCR cover), and Sunday marks the exciting return of John Zink, The Carroll County All-Stars and Shyster Reunion.

Some other things we are working on for Mayfest 2020 include bringing back some of the things notably missing from recent Mayfests: the art show, The Beatles, the horse-drawn carriage rides, a kids' activity zone, and, of course, the kettle corn guy. If you are interested in sponsoring a band or a specific part of Mayfest, or if you are interested in helping and have the time to commit, please email

As we start our 2020 Mayfest fundraiser, we are reminded of the trust you have put in us to put on our town's festival. Being stewards of your money is not a responsibility taken lightly.

It is our number one priority to use your donations to bring Mayfest back to its golden years, to continue to make the moves that need to be made to reduce year-to-year expenses, and to make Mayfest financially viable for years to come. This is still a turnaround year, and we need your help to keep this going. Please help us by donating today.

Checks can be made to Mount Carroll Mayfest and sent to Mount Carroll Mayfest 601 E. Silk St., Mount Carroll, IL 61053. Cash and check donations can also made at TBK Bank in downtown Mount Carroll. Online donations can be made via Paypal to

Thank you for everything you do for the community and for Mayfest. We look forward to seeing the community come together Memorial Day Weekend for another amazing Mount Carroll Mayfest.

Brandon Ballard

Mount Carroll Mayfest