Washington Good Neighbor Days still on despite tornado damage

By WEEK Producer

May 29, 2014 Updated May 29, 2014 at 6:13 PM CDT

WASHINGTON, Ill. -- For the past six months Washington residents have shouldered the burden of tornado devastation and recovery in their community.

This weekend they will get a chance to have fun as the city welcomes the return of its Good Neighbor Days Festival.

Washington was among the hardest hit cities by last November's tornadoes.

Some organizers were concerned that there was still too much damage and debris around that would prevent them from hosting the Good Neighbor Days Festival.

But the chairman says much of the property here where the carnival rides and tents are up is safe for the public.

He said canceling the festival was not an option.

"We've had that question a lot, are you still going to have it this year, especially with the name change,” said Patrick Sams. “Definitely we're having it, bigger and better and we looked at doing it later in the summer, but we figured we might as well keep what people are use to and try to keep it as normal as possible."

There are about 150 volunteers who help with the festival; some of them are tornado victims.

Organizers have extended the event for one extra day.

The Good Neighbor Days Festival runs through Sunday and admission is free.