By Anna Lothson
The weekend starts early this Thursday. And the trend will continue for the rest of the summer.
Shops and restaurants stay open late on Thursday nights to take advantage of Downtown Oak Park's popular dine-around series, Thursday Night Out, beginning May 23.
Thursday Night Out runs through August 29 from 5 to 9 p.m. (except July 4th). Customers purchase $12 ticket booklets, which contain four dine-around tickets. Ticket booklets are available at the Downtown Oak Park kiosk at Lake and Marion streets.
Each booklet also contains one voucher for a discount on two adult-priced movie tickets. With every two ticket booklets purchased, customers receive one complimentary $5 DTOP gift certificate, good at over 25 participating stores on Thursday evenings during the event season.
More than 20 Downtown Oak Park restaurants offer a variety of drinks, appetizers, entrees and desserts on the weekly menu and diners can eat inside or carry out. Tables are set up outside so patrons can listen to live entertainment while dining al fresco. A full entertainment schedule and list of participating shops and restaurants is available online at downtownoakpark.net.
West Cook YMCA wins $25K energy challenge
The West Cook YMCA received some perks for going green when it got a check last week for $25,000 from Nicor Gas representatives.
The YMCA was given the award in recognition of more than 500 Oak Park residents who participated in the Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program as part of the Community Challenge.
The money will help the West Cook YMCA operate their building at a higher level of energy efficiency, making them a greener neighbor within the community and helping to save on energy consumed by their members and staff.
The Community Challenge is a new initiative, offered through the Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program, to help foster energy efficiency awareness and action within local communities. Each Oak Park participating homeowner or business earned $50 toward their community's final prize.
The Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program is designed to help residential, commercial and industrial customers with consumer education and financial incentives on energy efficient products and services.
Vehicle sticker sales begin; discount for online renewals
The weather is heating up and that can only mean one thing: It's time to renew your Oak Park vehicle sticker again.
The village has begun selling stickers, and renewal notices have been mailed to the nearly 26,000 residents who purchased them last year.
Every Oak Park resident who owns or leases a vehicle is required to purchase and display a village sticker before midnight, July 15. Anyone who misses the deadline must pay a $20 late fee in addition to the cost of the sticker. Failure to display a valid village sticker could result in a $50 ticket.
Residents whose vehicles already are registered with the village can save 10 percent by renewing online at www.oak-park.us/onlineservices, rather than via mail or in person at village hall, 123 Madison St.
First-time vehicle sticker purchasers, and residents who have turned 65 since they last renewed, must come to village hall to provide proof of residency. This can be done with a lease, utility bill or other government-issued item. A driver's license and vehicle information also are required. A current vehicle sticker is needed to purchase a parking permit.
New this year, anyone who loses the renewal notice will be able to look up their web ID number using the email address or telephone number included in the previous year's application.
Residents who would like to renew online but don't have access to a computer can come to village hall where a computer is available to the public for official village business. Computers also are available at the Oak Park Public Library.
In-person sticker purchases and renewals are offered in the parking service center at village hall from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays, and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. The center will be open for vehicle sticker purchases and renewals from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., Sat., July 6. Village hall will be closed on Monday, May 27 and Thursday, July 4. Individuals renewing in person are urged to bring their renewal notice to speed up processing.
The online renewal system will continue to be available through July 15 but will automatically assess the late fee after the midnight deadline.