The Mokena Downtown Merchants Association is proposing to host a new festival a year from now in the downtown area.

Tony Dina, president of the association, asked village trustees on Monday night to authorize an Italian Fest on Front Street for July 2014. He said the group would hold the event in the same location as the Mokena Lions Club’s July Firecracker Dance if it can work out the use of equipment with the Lions.

Dina said the Italian Fest would include four to six food vendors, a beer garden, a dance floor and live entertainment.

He also asked the village board to authorize a Mokena Homecoming and Carnival in the downtown area for August 2014.

On another matter, the association would need approval for its 2014 farmers market by September so the vendors could be confirmed for next summer, Dina said.

Trustee Don Labriola suggested that the board approve a multiyear contract with the merchants association for the farmers market, which is now in its second season.

“They certainly proved how well they can do it last year, and it looks like they’re continuing to do that,” Labriola said. “They proved it, they earned it. It’s a great market.”

Dina said the farmers market has “exceeded any expectations” the merchants group had.