For free this weekend in Oak Park, you can shimmy up to a belly-dancing class, get your tongue examined by a practitioner of Chinese medicine, and pop your face into a life-size vintage cutout for a Sgt. Pepper photo op.
As Intuit Dance, Standing Wave Bodyworks and Wonderwall Music Shoppe & Emporium are tending to your body and soul, their more than 20 fellow merchants on Harrison Street will have other offbeat services and amusements to pique your mind more than your budget.
It’s annual festival time for the Oak Park Arts District: the galleries, boutiques, studios and restaurants along Harrison from Austin Boulevard to Ridgeland Avenue. In three days of What’s Blooming on Harrison-6 to 10 p.m. Friday, noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday-the village’s tucked-away bricks-and-mortar retailers will collectively tout the fun of shopping indie and spending locally.
While some shops are adding to inventory-brass and copper jewelry at Kathy Reller Designs-others will run sales-storewide at Val’s halla and on the sidewalk at Majamas.
On Saturday and Sunday, musicians will anchor the Cuyler, Lombard and Humphrey avenue intersections. Friday night, the music will be at Trattoria 225, where Oak Park’s Compass Rose Quintet will be serenading diners.
In a shopping area friendly to two groups that weigh on buying decisions but don’t directly make them, kids and pets rate on the weekend list of festival extras.
On Friday night, Baby Blend Tees will welcome Mr. Furry Fur Fur, the raccoon puppet star of eco-friendly children’s shows on YouTube, who hails from Chicago with his human friend Flutter, a.k.a. Christine Ingaldson. On Saturday and Sunday, Dancing Krow Studio will have papermaking classes. All weekend, Studio Light will provide chalk for sidewalk art.
And if your dog or cat could use more than a chest rub from you, Sirius Cooks, the new shop that cooks for canine and feline diets, will host a massage therapist for pets on Saturday afternoon.
Green is the spring festival’s theme, from presentations at Just One More on how to rid your home and yourself of toxins; to bamboo and reclaimed-fabric garments at Pamela Penney Textile Arts; to Air, Fire, Water and Earth works at Art Gecko; to savings on jewelry with green stones at Christa’Phers.