fForest Fest returns to Morris with returning acts, new favorites and plenty of vendors

With summer in full swing, Morris celebrated Saturday with its first-ever fForest Fest featuring live entertainment, food trucks, yoga under the trees, and kids activities.

fForest Fest packed Goold Park in Morris with more than 5,000 people last year, and organizer Stacy Olson is aiming even higher this year with eight bands, a new family friendly festival called fFest Friends, more than 250 vendors and 16 food trucks.

The festival kicks off at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 3, and runs throughout the day, capping off with Los Angeles-based punk band Bad Cop/Bad Cop at 6:30 p.m.

“We try to bring some different kinds of music to Morris, something that maybe younger people are listening to,” Olson said. “We can expose everybody to something different.”

Bad Cop/Bad Cop is joined by the returning Chicago-based Celtic-rock band The Tossers, New York-based punk trio THICK, Milwaukee’s Bad Year, Colorado’s Jon Snodgrass and his band, Liam Kyle Cahill and Andrew David Weber, both of whom are performing separately and as part of their band, Part Time Problems.

There’s more than just music, though: fForest Fest will have fFest Friends, a family-friendly side to the event with an all-day dance party, crafts and more, all sponsored by True North and the Grundy County Chamber of Commerce.

fFest Friends will be free, taking place in Upper Goold park directly across the street from Morris Community High School. It will have its own vendors along with face painting from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., kids’ haircuts by Paul Mitchell crafts and many free crafts and activities for kids.

There also will be a vendor market with a mix of antiques, vintage, makers, crystals, crafts, plants, gardens, vintage clothing, art, thrift and recycled clothing, handmade jewelry and other items, salvaged goods, furniture and packaged food.

Entry into the festival costs $10, and people are asked to bring a lawn chair and blankets if they feel like they will need them. Attendees should also leave pets at home, as the Morris has a city ordinance against having pets at the park during events.

Limited parking is available in Upper Goold Park entering from Union Street, and Morris Community High School is allowing the festival to use their lot for the event. Parking along Union Street is available as long as people don’t block driveways with their vehicles.

Olson said the Morris Lions Club is helping with the event, and the Fraternal Order of Eagles is providing the alcohol.

fForest Fest is put on to raise money for IMC3, Olson and her husband’s nonprofit organization they created to clean up the Illinois & Michigan Canal. IMC3 will be hosting an I&M Canal Day Camp at 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 15 at Canalport Plaza, Illinois Avenue in Morris. More information on this is available at https://www.facebook.com/IMC3Morris and on the fForest Fest website.

Michael Urbanec

Michael Urbanec

Michael Urbanec covers Grundy County and the City of Morris, Coal City, Minooka, and more for the Morris Herald-News