Posen carnival canceled indefinitely after large fights lead to arrests: BODYCAM VIDEO

Wednesday, June 5, 2024
Posen carnival canceled after large fights lead to arrests: VIDEO
Bodycam video shows officers arriving to break up a brawl involving mostly teens at a summer carnival in Posen, Illinois, officials said.

POSEN, Ill. (WLS) -- For decades, this village of fewer than 6,000 residents has hosted an early summer festival, but officials say that annual carnival is now history.

In south suburban Posen, there was a reluctant, but unanimous vote on the future of a popular family summer gathering on Tuesday night.

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"It's a clear reality that the carnival cannot continue to be held in Posen," the Posen Park District president said.

The park district board voted to cancel the Posen Park Fest next summer and beyond after this year's carnival was marred by violence.

"It has to be done. The safety is too great. It's just, unfortunately, not worth having," said Posen Director of Parks and Recreation Terrence Whitcomb.

Posen police released bodycam video of officers Sunday evening arriving to break up a brawl of mostly teens who came from outside the community, officials said.

At least four people were arrested in the incident, which came days after another large fight led to the arrest of a carnival-goer who allegedly had a loaded gun in a backpack.

"They were checking bags to enter, but you can't bag-check people's fists, and you can't stop people from hopping a fence," Whitcomb said.

Posen is just the latest suburb to cancel part or all of a family festival out of safety concerns.

In recent weeks, carnivals were scrapped in northwest suburban Huntley and Lake In the Hills.

"You don't want to take the fun away from everybody just because there's a few bad apples that come from other towns causing trouble. It's not fair," said Posen resident Susan Adema.

And last summer, Tinley Park canceled the final day of its Armed Forces weekend carnival after fights broke out in a crowd of hundreds of teens.

"I know a number of other communities in the area do carnivals and festivals, and I'm worried for them," Whitcomb said.

In lieu of the carnival, Posen park district officials say they hope to organize smaller summer events.