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updated: 5/12/2014 9:42 AM

West Chicago's Blooming Fest focuses on cycling, gardening

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By Rosemary Mackey
West Chicago submission

A new spin on an old favorite will bring added energy to Blooming Fest, West Chicago's annual downtown garden festival.

Capitalizing on the theme of cycling -- which is the focus of a current City Museum exhibit, The (Bi)Cycle of Life, and the Cultural Arts Commission's annual Community Banner Art Project of the same name -- organizers have added a number of new activities to the festival Saturday, May 17.

Blooming Fest highlights include:

• Antique bicycles on display at the City Museum.

• A bike parade on Fremont Street with children invited to come decorate their bicycles.

• Bike safety tips from the police department, as well as the Bicycle Registration Program.

• An appearance by U.S. Paralympics cyclist and 2012 gold medalist Joe Berenyi, sponsored by ABD Cycling Club. The club also will provide information on racing and training criteriums.

• Volunteers from the DuPage County Forest Preserve District's Trail Patrol Program.

• A collection of unwanted bicycles and bicycle parts by Working Bikes, a nonprofit organization that gives new life to bikes by redistributing them as tools of empowerment in local and global communities.

• Information about bike trails and paths from Illinois Prairie Path Corp.

Blooming Fest's 14-year history as a destination for garden enthusiasts remains at the center of the event, with the plant sale presented by the West Chicago Garden Club on Galena Street and guest horticultural speakers at 122 Main St.

Family-friendly activities include children's games, an inflatable jump house, a car show, music, food and a community art show. For those looking to buy a one-of-a-kind item for their garden, a craft sale will offer birdhouses and ornamental garden art, hand-cut gemstone jewelry, home décor and more.

The free festival runs 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. rain or shine on Main Street in downtown West Chicago. For information, call (630) 293-2200, ext. 135, or visit westchicago.org for a complete schedule of events.

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