“River Forest is about to explode in festive finery.”

So spoke a happy 125th Anniversary committee chairwoman Laurel McMahon on Monday. McMahon had good reason to be both pleased and optimistic. After more than seven months of planning and preparation, River Forest’s 125th Anniversary celebration will officially kick off with a House Tour this Saturday, April 9 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tickets for the eight home tour, formally referred to as the Parade of Elegant Homes, between Tickets can be purchased at the River Forest Women’s Club, 526 Ashland on the morning of the tour, or from the Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest at 848-6755.

“I see the (official 125th Anniversary) banners are going up along Lake Street,” said a McMahon, contacted on her cell phone Monday. McMahon and two dozen committee members have worked through the fall and winter to lay the ground work for the sox month series of events both large and small to take place weekends from now until the town’s actual 125th birthday on October 24.

“It’s very exciting. The weather’s beginning to cooperate,” said McMahon. We’re anxious to get started and show people what we have planned.”

McMahon stressed that it’s still possible for individuals, businesses or organizations to purchase their own banners by contacting Julia Faust at 366-9074.

The following Friday evening Keystone Park has its grand opening at 6 p.m., with the official park dedication and ribbon cutting. While primarily a Park District event, the park board has agreed to cosponsor a number of 125th events with the committee. The Friday night ceremonies are intended for local elected officials and dignitaries, as well as numerous neighboring and state elected office holders who will be invited. The next day, April 16, is opening day for the youth baseball and softball seasons, with as many as a thousand people expected at the park.

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