Summer festivals in the Southland 2013
Not only is it a three-day weekend for some but Memorial Day on May 27 marks the unofficial kickoff to summer for many.
As always, the Southland doesn’t disappoint when it comes to festivals.
A number of the offerings are free, so grab a friend, family member or a whole group and head to several of these events.
(May 24-27) OAK FOREST’S IRISH FEST: Chicago Gaelic Park, 6119 W. 147th St., Oak Forest, (708) 687-9323: This Memorial Day weekend event is in its 27th year. Entertainment will be features on six stages and include Gaelic Storm, the Gothard Sisters, Red Rebel County, Ronan Tynan, the Makem & Spain Brothers, Pat Finnegan & Friends, Tooromeen School of Irish Dancing, M&R Rush, Bernie Glim & Country Roads, Cross Keys Irish Dancers, Shannon Rovers, Pipers & Drums of the Emerald Society, Larkin & Moran Brothers, and several magic shows.
(May 26-Aug. 18) OAK LAWN’S SUNDAY NIGHT CONCERTS: (708) 499-7837. This series will kick off at 7 p.m. May 26 and continue at the same time through Aug. 18. Attendees should bring picnic baskets, refreshments, lawn chairs and blankets. Performers include Coax & Folks on May 26, New Odyssey on June 9, M&R Rush on June 23, the Meteors on July 7, Red Woody Band on July 21, HillBilly Rockstarz on Aug. 4, and CTA on Aug. 18 (with fireworks).
(May 29-June 2) ORLAND PARK’S ORLAND DAYS: 153rd Street Metra station, (708) 514-4215 (Steve Anton): The Orland Park Lions Club will present this event from May 29-June 2. There will be a carnival, food, vendors, domestic and premium beers, an updated entertainment venue and a parade. Performers will include Jin & Tonic, HillBilly Rockstarz, Big Dog Mercer, the Hat Guys, New Invaders, Infinity, Carl Anthony, McCarthy Road, Libido Funk Circus, 7th Heaven,
(May 31-Aug. 23) OAK LAWN’S FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIES: (708) 499-7837. This series will kick off at dusk May 31 and continue at the same time through Aug. 23. Attendees should bring picnic baskets, refreshments, lawn chairs and blankets. Films will include “Wreck It Ralph” on May 31, “The Sandlot” on June 14, “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” on July 12, “Toy Story 3” on July 26, “The Hunger Games” on Aug. 2, and “The Amazing Spider-Man” on Aug. 23.
(June 1-2) ART FAIR IN FLOSSMOOR: (708) 798-2300. This event will run from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. June 1-2.
(June 5-9) ST. CATHERINE OF ALEXANDRIA’S CARNIVAL: 10621 S. Kedvale Ave., Oak Lawn, (708) 425-2850: This 31st annual event will take place from June 5-9.
(June 5-Aug. 7) FRANKFORT’S MOVIES ON THE GREEN: Breidert Green, Kansas and Oak streets, (815) 469-2177: This event, co-sponsored by the Frankfort Park District and the Frankfort Chamber of Commerce, will kick off at 8 p.m. June 5 with “Shrek Forever After.” The outdoor movie will be shown on a 20-by-30-foot screen with free popcorn. No pets will be allowed. Other movies will be “Uncle Buck” on July 10 and “Hotel Transylvania” on Aug. 7. In case of bad weather, the rain date in one week from the original movie date.
(June 5-Aug. 14) NEW LENOX’S MOVIE NIGHTS: (815) 462-6400: This series will kick off at 8 p.m. June 5 and continue at the same time to Aug. 14. Films will include “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” on June 5, “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” on June 12, “The Land Before Time” on June 19, “Stuart Little” on June 26, “Babe” on July 3, “Paranorman” on July 10, “Madagascar 3” on July 17, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” on July 24, “Monsters vs. Aliens” on July 31, and “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” on Aug. 3, “Peter Pan” on Aug. 14.
(June 7-8) DOWNTOWN HOMEWOOD ART AND GARDEN FAIR: Martin Avenue from Ridge Road to Hickory Road, (708) 798-3000: This event will take place from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. June 7 and 10 a.m.-9 p.m. June 8 and include children’s art activities, a Homewood Homebrew Beer Brewing Competition sponsored by Gape and Grains Co. and musical headliners including Elevation, a U2 tribute band; No Love for Linus; Ivory West and Latin Satin Soul. Children’s indie musician Justin Roberts will kick off the festivities, which also will include Chicago’s own Little Miss Ann and the Chicago debut of kid-hop artist Secret Agent 23.
(June 8) MOKENA FIRE DEPARTMENT FAMILY FUN DAY: Mokena Fire Station 1, 19853 S. Wolf Road, (708) 479-3900: This free event will take place from noon-2 p.m. and includes a free lunch at the Mokena Fire Protection District. Educational activities will include Dress the Firefighter, Play Water Ball, Stop Drop & Roll, Touch a Truck, Put Out the House Fire, Hazard House and Residential Sprinkler Demonstration.
(June 9-Aug. 11) NEW LENOX’S SUNDAY NIGHT CONCERTS: (815) 462-6400: This series will kick off at 7 p.m. June 9 and continue at the same time to Aug. 11. Events will include New Lenox Community Band and Broadway Show Tunes on June 9, Rock Orchestra on June 16, New Lenox Community Band and the Lincoln-Way Guitar Ensemble on July 14, and Jayme Doyle and Makena Hartlin on Aug. 11.
(June 12-Aug. 14) TINLEY PARK’S MOVIE IN THE PARK: Bettenhausen Recreation Center band shell, 8125 W. 171st St., (708) 342-4200: “Daddy Day Care” will be shown at dusk June 12. The festivities will begin at 8:30 p.m. Movies will be shown on the 20-foot blimp screen Attendees should bring blankets and lawn chairs. Movies will be shown in the gym in case of bad weather. The schedule also include “Rise of the Guardians” at 8:30 p.m. July 17 and “The Lion King” at 8:30 p.m. Aug. 14.
(June 15) DRIVING THE DIXIE: Along Dixie Highway, drivingthedixie.com: Attendees can discover historic Dixie Highway in the scavenger-hunt like event set for June 15. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 10 a.m. at the parking lot kitty-corner from Moraine Valley Community College in Blue Island on Western Avenue. The car hold will be at Union Street Gallery, 1527 Otto Blvd., Chicago Heights. Attendees can see the towns of Blue Island, Posen, Markham, Hazel Crest, Homewood, Flossmoor, Chicago Heights, Steger, Crete, Beecher, Grant Park and Momence.
(June 15-Sept. 7) TINLEY PARK’S MUSIC IN THE PLAZA: Zabrocki Plaza in downtown Tinley Park, (708) 444-5678: Juke Box Band will perform June 15. Attendees should bring lawn chairs and blankets. Refreshments will be available for sale. Other concerts in the series include 80’s Enough at 7 p.m. June 29, Clean Slate at 7 p.m. July 13, the Walk-ins at 7 p.m. July 27, Lucky Town at 7 p.m. Aug. 10, Reckless at 7 p.m. Aug. 24 and Cadillac Casanovas at 7 p.m. Sept. 7.
(June 16-Aug. 25) FRANKFORT’S CONCERTS ON THE GREEN: Breidert Green, Kansas and Oak streets, (815) 469-3356 (Frankfort Chamber of Commerce): Live music will be provided for no charge. Attendees should bring lawn chairs and blankets. The schedule includes Lisa McClowry & Thomas Linsk with Band on June 16, 1969 on June 23, Frankfort Brass Band and Joliet American Legion Band on June 30, HillBilly Rockstarz on July 7, R-Gang on July 14, Pete Oprisko on July 21 for Super Sunday, Gone 2 Paradise on July 28, the Meteors on Aug. 4, CTA on Aug. 11, Final Say on Aug. 18, and the Outcast Jazz Band on Aug. 25. In case of stormy weather, concerts will take place at the Frankfort Park District Founders Center, 140 Oak St.
(June 22) FRANKFORT’S FINE ARTS FAIR: Breidert Green, Kansas and Oak streets, (815) 469-2177: This event will take place from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. June 22 and feature works of fine art and demonstrations by premier local artists. There will be live music including harpist Andrea Jawor from 10 a.m.-noon and a jazz combo from Lincoln-Way East High School from 12:30-3 p.m. WineStyles of Frankfort will provide beverages for a wine tasting from 1-3 p.m.
(June 23-Aug. 18) TINLEY PARK’S CONCERTS IN THE PARK: Bettenhausen Recreation Center band shell, 8125 W. 171st St., (708) 342-4200: Arts Alive! Community Band will perform at 6 p.m. June 23. Barbaroo Abarro will direct the band, which will play old favorites and some new tunes. Other concerts in the series include Saturday June Band at 7 p.m. June 27, HillBilly Rockstarz at 7 p.m. July 11, Mr. Nicky at 7 p.m. July 25, the Neverly Brothers at 7 p.m. Aug. 8 and Arts Alive! Jazz Band at 6 p.m. Aug. 18.
(June 29) EVERGREEN PARK’S DAY IN THE PARK: (708) 422-1551: This event will take place at noon June 29.
(June 29) GET HOOKED ON FRANKFORT FISHING DERBY: Prairie Park, Kansas and White streets, (815) 469-2177: This annual event will take place, rain or shine, from 8-10 a.m. June 29 for ages 3-12. Registration is limited and required by June 21. Prizes will be awarded for most fish caught and biggest fish caught in each age bracket.
(June 20-23) HOMER COMMUNITY FEST: 14400 W. 151st St., Homer Glen, (708) 301-0632: This event from June 20-23 will feature live entertainment, a beer tent, carnival rides, games, food and fireworks. An Independence Day parade will take place on June 22.
(June 28-29) MATTESON FAMILY DAYS: (708) 283-4900: The 29th annual event will take place June 28-29 and will include Radio Disney, Brooks Family Dynasty, a 3-point basketball contest, a climbing wall, Matteson’s Got Talent, Jeffrey Osborne and Freedie Jackson and an 8K with a portion of the proceeds going to Ronald McDonald House. Admission is $5 for adults per day and free for ages younger than 6.
(June 29) MIDLOTHIAN’S VETERANS’ COMMITTEE INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE: Grill’s True Value Hardware parking lot, 4751 147th St., (708) 813-0290 (Dave Twombly) or (708) 990-8368 (Sharon Doeden): This third annual event will step off at 11 a.m. June 29.
(July 3) CHICAGO HEIGHTS FIREWORKS DISPLAY SHOW: Bloom North Field, (708) 756-5300 (city of Chicago Heights): This event will take place at 7 p.m. July 3 and include a performance by the Walk-ins. All residents are welcome for the family fun.
(July 3) EVERGREEN PARK’S INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE: (708) 422-1551: This annual event will take place at 6:30 p.m. July 3 and include fireworks.
(July 3-6) BEECHER 4TH OF JULY FESTIVAL: (708) 946-2261, villageofbeecher.org: This event will run from 6 p.m.-midnight July 3, 7 a.m.-midnight July 4, 6 p.m.-midnight July 5 and noon-midnight July 6. The fest will include a pet parade, carnival, Beecher Lions Club 5K run-walk, parade, fireworks, a bean-bag tournament and the Beecher Chamber of Commerce pork chop dinner. Entertainment will include Black Cadillac, Silhouttes, Maggie Speaks and Hat Guys.
(July 3-7) OAK FOREST’S OAK FEST: 159th Street and Central Avenue, Oak Forest, oakfest.com: This 26th annual event will take place from July 3-7 and include the car and bike show, the 5K Liberty Run, July 4 fireworks, a carnival and entertainment including Infinity, Bullwinkle, K.O. Bossy, April’s Reign, Chris Medina, Your Villain My Hero, Cruise Machine, CoverGurl, Hairbangers Ball, 13 Tikis, Billy’s Boys, the Walk-ins, Pamela Rose & Windy City Country, and Bella Cain.
(July 4) HOMEWOOD’S INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE AND FAMILY FUN FEST: Parish of St. Joseph lot, 17951 Dixie Highway, (708) 206-3393: The parade at 11 a.m. July 4 will represent Homewood’s civic groups and businesses. The route will be south on Dixie Highway to Ridge Road, then east on Ridge Road to the Izaak Walton Preserve. Afterwards, there will be family activities and food.
(July 4) NEW LENOX’S 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATION: (815) 462-6400: This event will take place at 7 p.m. July 4.
(July 4) TINLEY PARK’S 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATION: McCarthy Park, 16801 S. 80th Ave., (708) 342-4200: The Tinley Park-Park District’s annual celebration will take place from 4-9:30 p.m. July 4 with games for children, a penny carnival, entertainment and food. A grand finale fireworks extravaganza will take place at 9:15 p.m.
(July 11-14) PALOS HILLS FRIENDSHIP FEST: 107th Street and 88th Avenue, (708) 430-4500: This event, which will take place from July 11-14, will include a carnival, family entertainment, a car show, food and business vendors and a bingo tent. Performers will include Infinity, R-Gang, American English, Breakfast Club, Modern Day Romeos, the Difference and EPIC.
(July 13-14) FRANKFORT’S BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL: Breidert Green, Kansas and Oak streets, (815) 469-2177: This event will take place from 10:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. July 13 and 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. July 14. There will be live bluegrass music all day, a children’s tent, food and vendors. No alcohol, umbrellas or tents will be allowed. Attendees should bring lawn chairs and blankets. Performers will include the Boxcars, Special Consensus, HillBenders, Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, Dog 1, Eric Lambert & Friends, Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys, Illinois Rail and Bluegrass Escape.
* UPDATED 5/29 * (July 19-Aug. 23) HOMEWOOD-FLOSSMOOR PARK DISTRICT’S MOVIES IN OUR PARKS: (708) 957-7275 or (708) 957-0300: Co-sponsored by the villages of Homewood and Flossmoor and the Homewood and Flossmoor public libraries, This series will feature “Wreck-It Ralph” at dusk on July 19 at Irwin Park, 18120 S. Highland Ave., Homewood, and “Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Dog Days” at dusk Aug. 23 at Flossmoor Park, 2523 Flossmoor Road, Flossmoor.
(July 21) TINLEY PARK’S CARIBBEAN BLOCK PARTY: Along Oak Park Avenue from 171st to Hickory streets, (708) 444-5678: This 15th annual event will take place from noon-7 p.m. There will be live music on two stages, a mini Taste of Tinley Par and free family fun including the Wacky Shack, Dragon train, sand art, swings and a chalk artist. There also will be free trolly rides from the 80th Avenue train station starting at 11:30 a.m.
(July 25-28) CHICAGO RIDGE’S RIDGEFEST: (708) 425-7700: This popular festival, which usually draws some big-name entertainers, will take place from July 25-28.
(Aug. 2-4) TASTE OF ORLAND PARK: (708) 403-6100: This event will take place from 5-11 p.m. Aug. 2, 1-11 p.m. Aug. 3 and 1-9 p.m. Aug. 4. There will be entertainment, a car show, Orland Park’s Got Talent and a Kid’s Day.
(Aug. 3) FRANKFORT’S AMATEUR RIB COOK OFF: Breidert Green parking lot, Kansas and Oak streets, (815) 469-2177: This event will take place from 1-3 p.m. Aug. 3. Attendees can taste a variety of ribs cooked on-site by amateur contestants. Registration is required for all contestants.
(Aug. 10) NEW LENOX’S MAYOR BALDERMANN’S KID FEST: (815) 462-6400: This event will take place from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 10.
(Aug. 17) COUNTRY CLUB HILLS’ BACK TO SCHOOL PARADE AND YOUTH DAY CELEBRATION: Country Club Hills Theater, 4200 W. 183rd St., (708) 798-2616: This event will take place at 10 a.m. Aug. 17. The parade will travel east on 183rd Street between Cicero Avenue and Pulaski Road. Afterwards, there will be children’s rides, games, prizes, vendors, giveaways and a free hot dog lunch. There also will be a surprise concert on stage.
(Aug. 17-18) HOMEWOOD’S DOG DAYS OF SUMMER: (708) 206-3393: This event will take place at 9 a.m. Aug. 17-18.
(Aug. 23-25) WORTH DAYS: (708) 448-1181: This event will take place from 5 p.m.-midnight Aug. 23, noon-midnight Aug. 24 and 1-10:30 p.m. Aug. 25. There will be a kids zone, a bingo tent, a free petting zoo, free pony rides, a classic car show, a parade and fireworks. A carnival-only day will take place Aug. 22.
(Aug. 31-Sept. 1) FRANKFORT’S FALL FESTIVAL: downtown Frankfort, (815) 469-3356: This annual event on Aug. 31-Sept. 2 will feature food, music and crafters.
(Sept. 6-8) CHICAGO HEIGHTS SISTER CITY FESTIVAL: Bloom High School grounds, 101 W. 10th St., (708) 756-5300 (city of Chicago Heights): This second annual event will feature a carnival, pony rides, corn-hole tournament, car show, food vendors from each sister city: Wadowice, Poland; Asuogyaman District, West Africa; Cedral, San Luis Potosi, Mexico; and San Benedetto del Tronto, Italy.
(Sept. 7) FLOSSMOOR FEST: (708) 798-2300: This event will take place from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sept. 7.
Jessi Virtusio blogs about music, movies and much more on Elaborating on Entertainment at blogs.southtownstar.com/entertainment.