Flowerpot decorations will return to Forest Park this Halloween and possibly into the winter holidays after the village council gave the Forest Park Chamber of Commerce a go-ahead at its Aug. 23 meeting.

Last year, the chamber organized two Flower Pots on Parade Events – one Halloween-themed and one winter holiday themed – to support local businesses and raise money for charities. Businesses got an opportunity to decorate flowerpots along Madison Street and Roosevelt Road that would otherwise stay empty during the fall and winter. The proceeds from the registration fees were split between the chamber and the Forest Park food pantry.

During its Aug. 23 meeting, the village council unanimously approved the chamber’s request to use the flowerpots again. In an email to the village, Laurie Kokenes, chamber executive director, indicated that it intends to do another Halloween event, and it may do a winter holiday event if there is interest.

The events happened during the second wave of COVID-19, before the vaccines were available, and when businesses were still subject to capacity and indoor dining restrictions. It was conceived as a safe and eye-catching way to bring visitors to Forest Park’s biggest commercial corridors and encourage them to patronize local businesses. Since the flowerpots weren’t being used during colder months, it made sense to utilize them. 

In her email, Kokenes wrote that the event will work the same way as last year. A business would pay a registration fee to serve as a “sponsor” for a flowerpot. The chamber will assign the flowerpot, and the sponsor would be responsible for putting up the decorations and taking them down afterwards. Last year, the registration fee was $25, and the Halloween flowerpot decorations stayed up from Oct. 23 to Nov. 8.

The chamber hasn’t announced when the decorations will go up and when the deadline for reserving a flowerpot would be, but Kokenes said that she hoped to start soliciting sponsors “toward the end of August,” pending the village approval.