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Annual Fall Fest on Main Highlights Potential for Corner of Liberty and Main Streets


On the first Saturday in October, the Walnut Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual Fall Fest on Main. There were new activities and vendors, along with old favorites, yet perhaps the most noticeable change wasn’t on the event listing – a freshly cultivated lot on the corner of Liberty and Main Streets.


In the year since the last event, much progress has been made on this cornerstone. No longer a fenced pile of rubble, the lot has been cleared of hazards, covered in topsoil, seeded and watered with care through donations from local businesses and by the hands of residents of the town. When visitors to last weekend’s vendor show walked smoothly from booth-to-booth on the soft green grass the only thing remaining of the former site was memories.


“We couldn’t have been more thrilled to host the vendor fair on the location of Fall Fests to come,” said Walnut Chamber of Commerce Director Brent Jamison. “We have seen the hard work of this committee, donated intentionally to their efforts and look forward to the future of Walnut’s downtown in their hands.”


Also on the lot over the weekend was a Liberty and Main Committee booth, where the group displayed a model of the proposed plans for a pavilion and open-air event space to be located in the southeast corner of the lot. The structure would boast vaulted pine beams with a metal roof and stone-wrapped pillars.


The Liberty and Main Committee is a team launched by Walnut Main Street Revitalization (WMSR), charged with leading the project through to completion. WMSR is in the process of purchasing the lot from the village and has received support for long-term ownership of the property by the Walnut Park District to ensure maintenance of the space’s condition and character.


Fall Fest on Main was also the Committee’s formal kickoff for fundraising efforts toward what will soon be known as Liberty Square. The team handed out cards to its website, www.walnutillinois.com/libertysquare, where visitors may learn more about the goals of the project and make donations online.


“We want people to know that we’re here to do good for the community, and we’re ready to spend their donations wisely,” said Liberty and Main Committee and Walnut Main Street Revitalization member John Middleton. “We had a great group of people stop by and ask questions. It felt good to let them know have a plan, we are moving forward, and most importantly we are excited to about creating an amazing space to bring the community together to celebrate for years to come.”


LIBERTY and MAIN COMMITTEE

The Liberty and Main Committee is a project team launched by the Walnut Main Street Revitalization, nonprofit 501(c)3. The team is made up of 11 voting members who originally participated in the project independently, forming in 2018 with representation from the Walnut Fire Department, Walnut Main Street Revitalization, the Village of Walnut Local Improvements Committee and WOW: Working on Walnut. For more information, contact libertyandmain@walnutillinois.com.

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