Pretty much every business, group or church you can think of in Oak Park will be under the sun this Sunday, as the village celebrates A Day in Our Village for the 38th time.
The festival, which runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on June 5, features booths from more than 150 different organizations in Oak Park, everything from the local historical society to the Wednesday Journal. Several local restaurants will sell food and beer at the library plaza just west of Scoville Park, and amusement park rides and carnival attractions will be set up at Rehm Park.
"A Day in Our Village is an institution," said Village President David Pope, who will man a booth this Sunday with members of the village board. "It's an opportunity for people to learn more about what's going on in their community. Many, many residents come out every year looking for ways to get engaged and learn about the activities and organizations going on here in Oak Park."
Oak Park Township will offer free mini-buses between the two venues (Scoville and Rehm parks) from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Activities at the various booths will include aikido demonstrations, plant your own vegetables to take home, and police technology, along with face painting and balloons for kids. Musical groups such as the Rocking Johnny Blues Band and Verismo Opera Club will perform on the stage at Scoville Park.
Not much is different about A Day in Our Village in its 38th iteration, said Cedric Melton, whose Community Relations Department at village hall helps organize the festival. The Rehm portion will run an hour later than in the past, and the gay-friendly bar Velvet Rope is a new food vendor, joining other mainstays such as Robinson's Ribs and Mancini's.
Melton said the village desperately needs more volunteers next time around to help keep A Day in Our Village going. Only four people offered their services. He'd like to see at least 10.
"You need people to help make these things happen," Melton said. "The logistics to pull this thing off are enormous. We've got to recruit more volunteers for the festival."
The Park District of Oak Park is adding an amusement park ride at Rehm this year, said Shari Ann Wenzel, special events supervisor. Both parents and kids can hop on the Wind Jammer, which carries up to 30 people at a time. The park district hopes the new attraction will cut down on some of the wait times of the past.
"We thought it would be nice to have something that more people could get on and there wouldn't be such big lines," she said.
Rehm is open from 1 to 6 p.m., an hour later than usual to attract people who leave after the pool closes. Admission to Rehm Pool is discounted Sunday at $4. For more information, call 708-358-5407, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.