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home : news : local   April 30, 2016

4/5/2014 5:56:00 AM
Outdoor expo, festival on way to Spring Valley

Allison Ryan
Staff Writer

Hunters and fishermen, boaters and bikers, off-road vehicle drivers, cyclists, hikers and skateboarders will find a reason to visit Spring Valley in June — at least, members of Spring Valley community groups hope so.

Spring Valley Boosters and Partners for Progress have announced plans for an outdoor expo to showcase businesses related to outdoor recreation. The expo will be 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, June 21. Like the town’s traditional car cruises, the action will be in the 100-200 blocks of East and West St. Paul Street, radiating from the intersection with Spalding Street.

“What we’re doing is trying to promote Spring Valley as an outdoors-friendly, recreational town,” said Tony Fiorentini, coordinator for the expo. He estimated 20-25 people are involved in planning the event. “We’re hoping to promote some of our local businesses, as well as others from the area.”

City economic director Debb Ladgenski said focusing on the outdoor market makes sense for Spring Valley, given its location and attractions already in place. Barto Landing draws boaters and fishermen. Echo Bluff, to the west of the city, offers opportunities for hiking, paintball and use of the high ropes courses. A bikers memorial on East St. Paul Street pays homage to motorcyclists killed while riding in Illinois. In addition, several businesses already in the city cater to outdoor hobbies, such as fishing, boating and hunting.

The June event will feature a vendor fair, and organizers are seeking uniquely entertaining attractions. St. Margaret’s Hospital will sponsor a climbing wall for children, according to Ladgenski. Other possible attractions include a demonstration of hunting dog training and fishing demonstrations.

“It’s to be a fun day, not just a shopping day,” Ladgenski said.

The city council recently voted to contribute $5,000 from hotel/motel tax to the event, which may help to cover the cost of attractions or promotional materials. That tax revenue can only be used for events that promote tourism.

Vendors can register beginning by contacting Ladgenski at (815) 303-4327.

Information also will be available at

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