A Day in Our Village turns 38

Village festival will be celebrated this Sunday

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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

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 community@oak-park.us.

Reader Comments

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Dooper 2  

Posted: June 7th, 2011 2:45 PM

Lisa if you think the lines are long at Rehm, just wait to see what they might be like if you move everything to Scoville. There is just not enough room. It's called a Day in Our Village, not a Day at Scoville Park.


Posted: June 4th, 2011 11:50 PM

Let's not forget retired VOP employee Suzanne Vestuto. She coordinated all the efforts for Day in our Village for many years.

Michael Stewart from Oak Park   

Posted: June 3rd, 2011 7:33 PM

I loved this fest as a child, all of the Oak Park Parks teaming with fun things to do. I especially loved the foam at the fire dept. Anyone that wants to learn more about all of the dedicated groups and businesses, or if you want to just have some fun, join the fun this Sunday! The volunteers that puts this event on are a lot of fun and you should consider joining us next year! Consider riding your bike or walking with your family and friends! Enjoy!


Posted: June 2nd, 2011 12:52 AM

Time to get rid of event at Rheme Park. Attractions are too expensive, lines are too long and the the park is too small for the crowds. Just have one event at Scoville Park.

Ellen Plourde from Oak Park  

Posted: June 1st, 2011 9:38 PM

This event is the PERFECT new resident event: so many groups sharing what makes OP special. This event is run by VOLUNTEERS: this event couldn't happen for 38 years without terrific volunteers: WE NEED YOU! Stop by the info booth on the DAY and leave your name if interested.

Pam Crenshaw from Oak Park  

Posted: June 1st, 2011 5:28 PM

I am new to Oak Park. I am looking forward to this event.

Bradley Schuller from Oak Park  

Posted: May 31st, 2011 11:25 PM

We at Verismo Opera are so thrilled to be part of this!! We are bringing back audience favorites from Magic Flute. We will have selections the whole family can enjoy please stop by our tent and say hello! We are so proud to be Oak Park's very own professional opera company

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