The first weekend in May is one of the busiest weekends of the year in Oak Park and River Forest. Here’s just a sample:

May 1-2: Friends of the Oak Park Conservatory are holding their 20th Annual Herb & Scented Plant Sale, this Friday and Saturday. The theme this year is Platinum Performers, featuring all the best from previous years. Day one is reserved for members only, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. On Saturday, May 2, the event is open to the public, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Purchase premium annuals and perennials grown at the conservatory. Oak Park Conservatory, 615 Garfield. For information, call 708-725-2450.

May 2: The Multicultural Education Department of Oak Park Elementary School District 97 sponsors its 29th Ethnic Festival on Saturday. The festival is held at Whittier School, 715 N. Harvey, starting with a parade, followed by culturally diverse performers live on stage, ethnic food booths and more. For more information, contact the Multicultural Education Department (Lynn Allen or Pearl Hall at 524-7700 or 524-7701). If it rains, everything will go on in big tents or inside the school.

May 3: This Sunday is the annual CROP Walk in Forest Park, River Forest, Austin and Oak Park to raise funds for the battle against hunger. That’s a world-wide battle, of course, but the Church World Service, which sponsors the event, returns 25 percent of CROP Walk funds to local agencies that help the hungry. According to organizers Joyce Marco and Gy and Sylvia Menninga, the funds usually arrive in November or early December. This past fall, organizers received roughly $18,500, which was 25 percent of $74,000, the rounded amount turned in to CWS from the 2008 Walk. Here’s the breakdown on where the funds went:

  • $500 Walk-In Ministry (for McDonald’s coupons)
  • $1,000 Custer Tutoring (for weekly snacks)
  • $1,500 St. Eulalia Food Pantry (Broadview)
  • $1,500 Vital Bridges Food Pantry
  • $2,000 Forest Park Food Pantry
  • $2,000 Proviso Food Pantry
  • $2,500 Pine Avenue Food Pantry
  • $2,500 Columbus Park Food Pantry
  • $2,500 Oak Park-River Forest Food Pantry
  • $2,500 PADS

The 26th Annual CROP Hunger Walk will step off from Pilgrim Congregational Church, Lake Street and Scoville Avenue, this Sunday, May 3, at 2 p.m. If you would like to participate in the fight against hunger by either walking or sponsoring a walker, call Pat Eichenold at 848-5415.

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