Back in bloom: West Chicago Blooming Fest returning after pandemic pause

  • After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the West Chicago Blooming Fest will return to the city's downtown on Saturday.

    After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the West Chicago Blooming Fest will return to the city's downtown on Saturday. Courtesy of West Chicago

  • A plethora of plants will be for sale Saturday at the West Chicago Blooming Fest.

    A plethora of plants will be for sale Saturday at the West Chicago Blooming Fest. Daily Herald File Photo

  • Bob Simon of Downers Grove put a hosta plant in his Corvette, which was featured in a Corvette Club display as part of the 2016 West Chicago Blooming Fest. The Corvette Club is part of the returning festival on Saturday.

    Bob Simon of Downers Grove put a hosta plant in his Corvette, which was featured in a Corvette Club display as part of the 2016 West Chicago Blooming Fest. The Corvette Club is part of the returning festival on Saturday. Daily Herald File Photo

 
 
Posted5/19/2022 5:15 AM

The West Chicago Blooming Fest is coming back.

After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19 pandemic safety concerns, West Chicago's annual outdoor spring festival that targets gardening enthusiasts will return on Saturday.

 

"We're greatly looking forward to having the community back together again," said Nicolette Stefan, West Chicago's special events coordinator. "We're really excited just to see people out and about, and, at this point, hoping for some really nice weather."

As with past Blooming Fests, the West Chicago Garden Club is the festival's main vendor with about 4,000 plants in a 30- by 40-foot tent along Galena Street. And though items should be available for purchase through the entire event, festival veterans know to arrive early to get the prime plant picks.

"To be honest, the fastest plants to go are those that are in bloom," said Don Beebe, president of the West Chicago Garden Club and chair of the West Chicago environmental commission. "And a big trend since COVID hit is people getting into vegetable gardening again."

Beebe added that there has also been an environmental push to create habitats for pollinators like bees and butterflies.

"Hardcore gardeners are looking for native plants," said Beebe, adding that this trend ties nicely into West Chicago Mayor Ruben Pineda's multiple signed pledges for Monarch Butterfly Conservation with the National Wildlife Federation.

The Corvette Club will return to Blooming Fest with a display of classic cars, and the event also will include a mix of entertainment from area schools to educational family friendly shows like "Miss Jamie's Farm Garden Friends."

"We also have over 15 food vendors, so that's a lot of outdoor dining options -- four food trucks and then other booths," Stefan said. "It's definitely a great opportunity for people to come out and explore West Chicago if they've never been before."

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