The carnival portion of the Woodstars summer festival gets underway Thursday at Proviso East High School. In anticipation of large crowds likely to come for the musical acts over the weekend, Forest Park placed an automated call Wednesday to inform residents of the event.

The “important message” from the village advised residents that the festival, which could draw up to 20,000 people each day, is running July 28-31. It also informed Forest Parkers to stay off Madison Street west of the village, and added that the village of River Forest is closing Washington Boulevard at Thatcher and Lathrop avenues.

“We strongly encourage you to stay off of Madison if travelling west into Maywood,” the message says. “Please use alternate routes such as Roosevelt Road or Lake Street.”

Since the event finally landed at Proviso East late last week, Woodstars’ organizers were criticized by the Cook County Sheriff’s police for shoddy planning.

Site plans are now available on the event’s website, but that information was not available until yesterday. Promoters told the Forest Park Review that the information was not available when the Review began asking for it last week. When the Review called the County Sheriff’s press office on July 21, a representative was not aware that the department was working the event at that time. The next day, spokesman Steve Patterson confirmed that the department was asked to work security on July 21.

Patterson said the cost of security to county taxpayers could be in the “six figures” because off-duty officers will be called in – the result of the late notice.

Maywood Police Chief Tim Curry said “adjustments would be made” when necessary during the festival’s run but added that security would be “fluid” throughout the weekend.

Music starts Friday and runs through Sunday. Previously, the Review reported that the acts scheduled for the festival did not have Woodstars listed on their official websites. One group, however, Naughty By Nature, listed the event on its Facebook page.

Tickets for the event and the variety of activities range from $25 to $217.

In addition to Woodstars, the 2011 No Gloves National Softball Tournament is scheduled on the same dates at the Park District of Forest Park.

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