The blending of Barrie Fest with the debut of a different aspect of Takeout 25 made for a very good day last weekend in southeast Oak Park.
Barrie Fest is the annual event staged by the South East Oak Park Community Organization. It is a neighborhood party but also a recollection of the several years when a prolonged, major, and often botched soil remediation of the park at Lombard and Garfield robbed the community of its park.
SEOPCO has been a determined voice for an Oak Park neighborhood that historically was overlooked. And Barrie Fest has been its signature event.
This year SEOPCO teamed with Takeout 25, newly minted as an official nonprofit. Takeout 25 was created out of the COVID pandemic as a way for Oak Parkers, and increasingly our neighbors, to support independent restaurants that have suffered dining room closures, staff shortages and rising food prices.
As it invents itself, Takeout 25 added a new wrinkle at Barrie Fest as seven local restaurants actually came out to sell food to eager visitors. It was well received and a very good combination with SEOPCO.