All right, everybody outside! Summertime has begun! Your clown cars await at the curb, engines rattling and tailpipes sputtering. Run outside whooping and fling yourselves full-tilt boogie at some leisure activities before it’s all over and you realize that everyone else had all the fun while you were still cleaning up from the high school graduation party.

Stick your arms and legs out your car windows and drive over to Austin Gardens first for the opening night of Oak Park Festival Theatre‘s outdoor production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing on Friday, June 13, at 8 p.m. ( You can take a picnic with you-perhaps red licorice sticks and Kool-Aid?-and don’t forget your lawn chairs and blankets. If you have trouble keeping still, you can take a break and run up and down Forest Avenue for awhile, periodically pretending to trip over your big clown shoes.

Wash out the Kool-Aid spills and potato chip crumbs from that blanket and pack it up again on Sunday, June 15, at 5:30 p.m. for the free outdoor concert by BBI at Scoville Park ( We’re told the act features costumes and choreography along with the music because in the summer everything is more fun. And the location, of course-right there at Lake Street and Oak Park Avenue, the crossroads of Oak Park-gives us the perfect vantage point to cast an appraising eye on the passing citizenry to assess just who, this year, might have just what up their mischievous summertime sleeves.

Sunday is Father’s Day, of course, so we’ll be home washing the car for poor Dad, who can’t quite get over that dream of owning a car with no crumbs in the seats, no clown shoes in the trunk, and seating capacity for no more than two.

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