HUMBOLDT PARK — This weekend's Riot Fest was bigger than ever, and after Friday's rain, Humboldt Park turned into a muddy mess.
Porta-potties, trash and hordes of seagulls remained at the Humboldt Park site Tuesday morning as crews continued cleaning up from the three-day punk fest that drew an estimated 160,000 fans to the park.
Crews picked up everything from discarded beer cups to shoes, socks and drug paraphernalia Tuesday, workers said.
"This is the park I take my dog to and it's ruined," said Phil Goodson, who recently moved across the street from Humboldt Park. "It's a gorgeous park. I've never seen it like this."
Chicago Park District officials will walk through the park Thursday to fully assess damages, according to park district spokeswoman Jessica Maxey-Faulkner. Last year, it cost at least $54,300 to repair the park, but that was when the fest was a lot smaller.
The Riot Fest footprint took up nearly the entire park this year, according to Maxey-Faulkner, from Kedzie to California avenues and North Avenue to Division Street.
When Canadian rockers Tegan and Sara performed Sunday, they declared their love for Chicago, but mentioned the unappetizing smell that permeated the park throughout the weekend.
“I noticed the minute I walked out my front door,” said Humboldt resident Meaghan Olson, who compared the scent to “dung and dumpsters."
Aside from the smell, Olson said she had a great experience at Riot Fest this year — she was able to get free tickets due to her close proximity to the park.
“I just hope Riot Fest has the spirit of leaving the park a little better than it was before they came — and then the city invests any money it gets from Riot Fest properly — back into the park that sacrificed itself for a kick-a-s party this weekend.”
Update: Riot Fest issued a statement on the cleanup Wednesday. Read it here.
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