Chicago Ridge, IL

Chicago Ridgefest 2023 Canceled due to Safety and Security Concerns

Natalie Frank, Ph.D.

After the recent teen chaos that occurred during a Tinley Town carnival, Chicago Ridge Mayor announced the Chicago Ridgefest scheduled for July 28th - July 30th will be canceled

In a recent announcement made during a special board meeting, Chicago Ridge Mayor Chuck Tokar declared the cancellation of the highly anticipated RidgeFest, which was scheduled to take place from July 28 to July 30, 2023. The decision to call off the event was motivated by paramount safety and security concerns.

The annual RidgeFest, a popular summer festival that draws a significant number of attendees from both local and neighboring communities, has been a cherished tradition in Chicago Ridge for years. However, this year's festivities have fallen victim to the growing apprehensions surrounding safety issues.

The primary reason cited for the cancellation of RidgeFest was the prevailing safety and security climate. Recent incidents, including reports of "teen flash mobs" causing disturbances and potential threats, played a pivotal role in the decision-making process. Officials and law enforcement agencies expressed concerns over the potential for unruly behavior and the risk it posed to festival-goers, participants, and the community at large.

The cancellation comes on the heels of a similar incident in the nearby town of Tinley Park, where the final day of the Armed Forces Weekend Carnival had to be called off due to a large "flash mob" gathering of approximately 400 teenagers, resulting in multiple fights and safety issues. These incidents highlighted the need for proactive measures to ensure public safety during large-scale community events.

Mayor Tokar, in his statement, emphasized that the decision to cancel RidgeFest was made with the utmost consideration for the well-being and security of the festival attendees and the community as a whole. The move was aimed at preventing potential disruptions, safeguarding public order, and avoiding any risks associated with hosting the event under the current circumstances.

As the summer progresses, local authorities and event organizers will continue to monitor the situation closely, evaluating the feasibility of hosting other community events while prioritizing public safety.

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