ROMEOVILLE – Carnival rides, magic shows and attractions like laser tag had residents of the village and surrounding communities dashing around Village Park and the Romeoville Recreation Center grounds Saturday for RomeoFest.
The four-day festival that ended Sunday is expected to have attracted more than 30,000 people to the two locations off Romeo Road. With the new additions of laser tag and a video game truck, the village has planned for the festival to become an increasingly fun event for family entertainment.
“It’s very close to home,” said Ernestina Amedeka, who lives right across the street from Village Park. “I have friends that come from other places just for this.”
Amedeka’s daughter, 10-year-old Deborah Amedeka, said her brother’s birthday is around the same date, so the family has its own celebration at RomeoFest.
“It’s all really fun,” Deborah said.
RomeoFest has transformed from a small carnival to a multi-stage event. Carnival rides were on the grounds of the recreation center, and vendors, the beer tent and stage area were on and around Village Park.
“It’s definitely changed,” said Crest Hill resident Dan Mueller, who brought his two nephews and has been coming to RomeoFest for the past five years.
Mueller noticed several changes while he has been coming to RomeoFest, including a larger venue and the festival grounds have been fenced up with security to discourage fights and other criminal activity.
“It’s really changing for the kids and it should,” Mueller said.
One of Mueller’s nephews, 10-year-old Jordan Mueller, received a balloon sword after volunteering for Mr. D’s House of Magic and Illusion at the family tent.
His favorite part of the festival was getting to go on the rides multiple times with the $50 Mega Pass.
“I come here every year,” Jordan said. “My favorite ride is the Freak Out ride.”
The Mega Pass was popular with parents because it allowed kids to ride an unlimited amount of times.
“It’s a very good deal,” said Romeoville resident Brandon Klinetobe, noting that the amount he probably would have spent for rides taken by his children is greater than the price of the pass.
“I really appreciate Romeoville putting this on,” Klinetobe said. “They bring out all the stops.”