Early Friday morning praise was for the Public Works members who had spent countless hours setting up the 22nd annual Manteno Oktoberfest. “If you see one of these great guys, make sure to say thanks!” The Manteno Chamber of Commerce posted of their Facebook Page early on Friday.
Just hours later, damaging winds would roll through the area and lay waste to that effort, wiping out various festival structures. Including those across Main St, First and Second, as well as the original entertainment/beer tent, which had been utterly destroyed. By 6:30, the evening’s events had been canceled, including the always hyped pet parade and football game.
Saturday morning the Manteno Chamber Board of Directors, Mayor and Police Department met for an emergency meeting to decide what to do to salvage the festivities. “The consensus was that we would rebuild and continue the fest. When the meeting commenced, we had several volunteers already cleaning the streets and assisting the vendors,” says Manteno Chamber President Sarah Marion.
Those rolling into the Village, early Saturday included the red public works trucks of the Village of Bourbonnais to aid in assisting pickup, grabbing branches and debris to clear the parade route. Thanks to the community effort, Manteno Oktoberfest was up and running by 1 pm, with the Carnival opening at noon and beer tent opening at 2 pm, a full two hours earlier than projected!
With the added effort, most events were able to go on as scheduled throughout the weekend, including the annual lighted parade as hundreds came out in support to enjoy the band and carnival.
The Village of Manteno and the Manteno Chamber of Commerce thank all who came out on Saturday to aid in the clean-up efforts, including the Oktoberfest committee, Chamber Board, Manteno Public Works, Bourbonnais Public works and members of the surrounding communities.
“This weekend showed me that people truly care about our community and this festival. Despite the destruction, we pulled through. 2019 Oktoberfest was a success!” Marion says.