Streetscape Work Could Push Last Fling to New Location

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Now that Ribfest is moving to Romeoville starting in 2020, the Last Fling is Naperville’s longest running festival.

But it could be forced to move to another Naperville location if Downtown Streetscape Improvements are delayed.

“In the event of weather delays or any other construction delays, we may not have access to Jackson Avenue for the 2020 Last Fling. The City will need it for traffic flow,” said Matt Dingeldein, who is on the 2020 Last Fling Leadership Committee. “So we’ve been exploring alternative venues near Downtown Naperville where we could host the Last Fling.”

Though Dingeldein couldn’t be specific about the venues they are exploring in and around Downtown Naperville, he said the Jaycees were inspired by the layout of Festa Italiana, which took place inside Naper Settlement.

A New Layout

Regardless of the location, the group plans to reconfigure the layout of the last fling. Some vendors last year felt they were located away from the majority of foot traffic.

“Going forward we really want to work hard to make sure that these individuals that have supported our event for so many years feel appreciated and we’re hoping to do whatever we can to create an environment where they feel welcome back at our event,” said Dingeldein.

Continuing Admission Program

Last year was also the first year charging admission to the festival – a policy they plan to continue despite some negative feedback from attendees.

“It’s a community event, but it’s also a fundraiser for the Jaycees, for our programs. So we decided that we want to throw a financially sustainable community event that is approachable and engaging for everybody in Naperville,” said Dingeldein.

About 29,000 people attended the Fling this year, a big factor in the $106,000 program dollars generated to support the Jaycees mission.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.