BY CALEB ALEXANDER
Many people in New Baden and the surrounding area are looking forward to the 2021 June Jamboree as a symbol of the return to normalcy. Last year’s had to be cancelled because of the pandemic. Planning for this year’s is well under way but the powers that be in Springfield have thrown a wrench into it.
The state will not issue a liquor license for events like the June Jamboree to be held in a public park. It has been traditionally held in the village park but won’t be this year because of this decision.
The village board approved relocating the June Jamboree to the American Legion property and with it the temporary closing of part of East Illinois Street and South 1st Street.
Tim Hoerchler from the Sons of the American Legion was at the village board meeting to talk about the adjustments that have to be made. The dates will stay the same, June 18 and 19.
He said 1st Street would be blocked most of the way from 161 to where it ends behind the Legion building. During this time, people living on 1st can use the alley to get out. The blocking of East Illinois would stop before Clinton Manor so people can still get in and out of that parking lot.
June Jamboree has to be scaled down because of this situation. There will be a ferris wheel on 1st Street and at least one other ride, Hoerchler said. Also included will be concessions like a food stand operated by the Jaycees, food trucks, some games and tents where people can sit and eat.
There’s also plans for bands to play music. Hoerchler said he knows there will be complaints about the noise, Chief of Police Chuck Mackin mentioned that also. Hoerchler said he hopes people would come out and enjoy the picnic instead.
If the bands face toward the railroad tracks, the noise won’t be so bad, Hoerchler said. He also said he expects they would stop playing music about 11 o’clock each night so it will be quieter after that.
When someone asked him about parking, he said the side streets could be used. The parade held for the June Jamboree would also go on, only the route would be reversed with it starting at the park instead of ending there. Hoerchler said he did not foresee there being a problem with the parking because he expects not as big of a crowd with it being held on the Legion grounds.
Hoerchler said he plans to knock on some doors around there to let people know what will be happening. The Legion building will also help block some of the noise from the houses is one of the other things he mentioned.