South Jacksonville Celebration Enjoys Quiet Success

By Benjamin Cox on May 7, 2024 at 2:32pm

On the inside looking out: A view from the Zingabad Grotto Bus to the Prairieland Heritage Grounds for the South Jacksonville Celebration on Saturday afternoon.

The South Jacksonville Celebration had a much quieter year this year with a great turnout over the weekend.

Select students from Jacksonville School District 117, students from Garrison Alternative School, and students from the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired got a free pre-event attendance day on Friday.

Police Chief Eric Hansell says other than one minor incident, the celebration was a place you could find families enjoying rides, games, and food this weekend: “It was very, very successful. We had good weather with just a little bit of rain on Saturday afternoon. Everybody was pretty well-behaved. The largest crowd, it looked like, was on Sunday afternoon about 2:30-3ish. We had very little trouble. We had some kids that we had to remove. Some parents had tried to drop some kids off without coming in with them. Those issues were rectified. We ended up with only one arrest out of the event for a battery. Other than that, it was great. Last year, we had to shut down early because of a large fight. We really had no fights whatsoever this year. Like I said, everybody had a really good time. It was very well-received. We got a lot of ‘thank yous,’ many thank yous for the law enforcement presence, and a lot of thank yous to the Village of South Jacksonville for putting this event on for families in the area.”

Hansell says that food and rides all had smooth operation throughout the weekend, with a very lucrative take from the good attendance for the food vendors.

Jeremy Coumbes assisted with this report.