EVERGREEN PARK, Ill. — An annual carnival in Evergreen Park has been canceled after concerns over a possible teen takeover.
Leaders from Most Holy Redeemer Church were set to have the parish’s 46th annual carnival in mid-June.
But after last weekend’s teen takeover at a carnival in Tinley Park, the church is playing it safe instead of sorry.
Year after year, the space at the corner of 95th Street and Lawndale Avenue is typically transformed into a carnival.
Parish leadership decided to cancel the carnival after parishioners expressed safety concerns following last weekend when hundreds of teens created chaos at the Armed Forces Weekend Carnival in Tinley Park.
“It’s really unfortunate that an event in Tinley Park is affecting us here in this neighborhood,” resident Chris Bodenberg said.
The carnival this year was scheduled for June 15-18.
“It’s not an easy decision because the carnival has a long tradition,” Father James Hyland said. “This would have been the 46th annual carnival and also it is our biggest fundraiser for our parish.”
Hyland said the carnival typically generates $50-60,000 for the parish and school.
He said the church is looking at alternative ideas to bring people together and make up for the lost revenue.
Long-time residents of Evergreen Park said they’ll miss enjoying the carnival this year.
“This is supposed to be for the kids and it’s supposed to be for families and you have to cancel it because of punks that literally want to come and ruin things for no reason,” Terry Bryne said.
A parishioner from St. Catherine who talked to WGN-TV News said that parish is still planning its carnival in a couple of weeks.
That parish is not far from Most Holy Redeemer Church.