Residents react to cancellation of mud volleyball tournament |

WREX — After Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful announced Wednesday the cancellation of the popular mud volleyball tournament in Roscoe, residents and organizers are looking ahead to what’s next.

For 43 years, mud volleyball has attracted thousands of people from across the region and beyond.

But Roscoe Village board members say that brings many other challenges.

At last week’s meeting, one board member said, “I just don’t think about how it’s been described to me in the past and people were drunk at 6:30 a.m. and we We can’t have that.”

Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful organizers told 13 News on Thursday that meetings were held to try to reach an agreement, but some of the village’s demands proved too onerous.

“The Village of Roscoe wanted us to change several things,” said KNIB Executive Director Pam Osborne.

“We had a few meetings early on, and then these changes were brought to us. We applied and our requests went to their board. These changes stayed, and some were added, and it wouldn’t work either for us nor for the players. Some of the changes made would require a lot of money on our part. We don’t have money to spend on these changes. After all, we are a non-profit organization and Mud Volleyball is one. major fundraiser for us.

Participants and residents now feel discouraged by this cancellation.

Courtney Geishert, a former Poplar Grove native, now lives in Texas, but said she will still come to participate and visit family.

“I haven’t booked my plane ticket yet, luckily since it’s still a few months away I would stay with my family while I’m up there and then coordinate the day of the meet and spend the day there -down for the tournament.”

Like many, she now needs to find a new event to attend, which she thinks might be fun to bring her family to her neck of the woods.

“We started looking at events on Facebook and sending a group message saying ‘hey this one is in Illinois and then I sent some here in Texas maybe you should come see me and see what Texas tournaments are here. like,” she said.

“Now it’s like finding a different weekend where we’re all available, we can all travel there, so it’s just putting a damper on things.”

Others say the event is a local staple that can feel like a party, but also attracts tons of local businesses.

“I really felt like, for the area itself, I couldn’t tell you the last time I saw 251 as busy at 7 a.m. on a Saturday as it was on Mud Volleyball day,” Evan Schoepski said .

“When they have people directing traffic, a packed business over there at Casey’s and then because a lot of crews don’t show up after noon, there’s a lot of people knocked out by noon and you have Whiffletree Tavern, it There’s Firehouse, Poison Ivy, Louie’s, all these places that get all this revenue from these people leaving because everyone wants lunch.”

Schoepski is confident, however, that the next city that hosts the event will benefit.

“I’m hoping that someone can pick up what I think would probably be a benefit to their area and move it over there without having any problems, because it feels like they’re definitely overloaded with a lot of additional bureaucracy this year.

Roscoe Village President Carol Gustafson said in a statement Thursday, “While we are disappointed that the village was unable to host the mud volleyball event this year, our commitment to safety and fun of our community remains steadfast. We hope KNIB will join us next year to ensure this event can be enjoyed safely by everyone at Riverside Park.

For the full statement, click below.