By Anna Lothson
It's a tradition four decades in the making and this year it's back in the newly renovated Scoville Park.
The 40th annual A Day in Our Village festival that brings out thousands of people and about every organization and agency in town will be held this Sunday, June 2, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
With the help of a dedicated bunch of volunteers, village staff coordination, and the friendly faces of those running the organizations and businesses in town, the Oak Park tradition brings out the best of what the village offers.
Day in Our Village hasn't always been so popular, as it was canceled due to lack of volunteers in 1996, but the next year people rallied to bring it back. Since then, the fest has grown and continues to be one of the most well attended events of the year. Guests can expect nearly 200 vendors and tents this year.
This year's event won't be much different from the rest as there will be musical entertainment, food from local vendors and hundreds of local businesses and organizations. This year, however, patrons get the benefit of walking across freshly planted sod at Scoville Park and enjoying the other new renovations to the park at Lake Street and Oak Park Avenue.
On Saturday, a day ahead of A Day in Our Village, residents can take part in an official Scoville Park ribbon cutting and view the new amenities at the park, which include the Peace Plaza around the World War I Monument, along with a renovated playground, tennis courts and entrances. The event takes place at 10 a.m.
Day in Our Village isn't about getting people to buy goods as happens at other village gatherings, instead it's about residents learning about government agencies, social services, schools, religious organizations and community-minded businesses in Oak Park. While Scoville features informational-based booths, Rehm Park, East Avenue and Garfield, will have activities for kids.
The festival started in the early days of Oak Park's Open Housing era as a celebration of diversity in the village. The goal is to provide a unique festival where all residents can learn about the people and groups that make the town what it is today.
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