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Little Village Business Owners Upset About Festival Blocking Their Street

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Carnival rides along 26th Street in Little Village. (Credit: CBS) --

Carnival rides along 26th Street in Little Village. (Credit: CBS) —

Chris Martinez Chris Martinez
Chris Martinez is a general assignment reporter for CBS 2...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – It’s meant to raise money for kids, but several business owners say a festival in Little Village is costing them big.

CBS 2’s Chris Martinez reports carnival rides were moved on to 26th Street, west of California Avenue, on Tuesday night, right outside those businesses, and they’ll stay through Sunday.

Metomic Corporation is one the businesses cut off.

“This is the main entrance that we would use to receive material in and out, to keep the factory running, and here’s the ride that they placed in front of it,” said sales executive Paul Bernstein.

Just down the block, it is the same story as the delivery fleet at a food distributor was grounded. For each day they can’t get in or out, it costs tens of thousands of dollars.

“It is a lot of money. Who’s going to pay for that? Is the alderman going to say ‘Hey, I’m sorry’ and cough up a check? I don’t think so,” said

They’re but two of a number of businesses who say they had no idea this festival was coming to 26th Street.

It’s the first year for the fair, backed by a non-profit called Excellence in Education.

“It’s definitely growing pains this year,” said Ald. George Cardenas (12th), who said he signed off on the new Little Village event, insisting every business was supposed to be notified.

For those who say they weren’t, Cardenas said, “Well, we’ll accommodate them, and we’ll bring them in to the plans, but we do have to secure the streets, alright? We just can’t have open access from all points.”

Bernstein said, “It doesn’t make common sense to allow a carnival to block a business street, an industrial area and we’re directly across from the Cook County Jail, so it makes even less sense in that regard.”

The company behind the carnival is promising to move some of the rides, but even with that, the road remains shut down until the carnival closes Sunday night.

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