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Petzel: Oak Lawn Fall on the Green is great family fun for free

Updated: October 16, 2013 6:12AM



Greetings, fellow Oak Lawnians! Oak Lawn’s 18th annual Fall on the Green took place last weekend was again a great family event.

The free festival opened at 6 p.m. Friday and ran through 8:30 p.m. Sunday, offering activities for adults, teens and children and a free shuttle service every quarter-hour throughout the weekend.

Musical entertainment on the main stage, gazebo and beer garden featured pop, party, rock and country by the Opinions, Maggie Speaks, the Hat Guys, Sean & Charlie as well as CTA and American English, among others.

A special teen area featured fun and thrilling rides like the Twister and Zero Gravity, a zip line, a mechanical bull, a climbing wall, a Ferris wheel, beanbags and carnival games. For children, there was jousting, face painting, a tattoo parlor and lots of inflatables to play and jump in.

This year’s fest featured more than 55 arts and crafts vendors, other vendors, a beer garden, raffles, business tents and vehicles from local auto dealerships on display. A terrific assortment of food also was available.

Fall on the Green has always been a great opportunity for people to connect with old friends and meet new ones. In past years, Saturday, which features an awesome fireworks display, was always the biggest night for the festival, but this year Friday proved to have a record turnout.

In today’s economy, it’s inspiring that the village of Oak Lawn can undertake and offer its residents such a terrific family-oriented event that, thanks to the event sponsors, after 18 years is still free to attend. If you think about it, what can you get for free anymore?

When you consider all the food and entertainment and the huge amount of effort, planning and organizing that’s involved in such an event, it’s quite remarkable.

Thank you to the fest sponsors, village employees including police and firefighters and all the volunteers who worked so hard to make this annual celebration another great family event.

I also wanted to inform you about a fundraiser for 8-year old Brett Wilkens, who is fighting eosinophilic esophagitis, a rare and chronic immune disease that causes a life-threatening inflammation of the esophagus.

The event will be from 2 to 7 p.m. Sept. 21 at 115 Bourbon Street, 3359 W. 115th St., Merrionette Park. Brett is the son of Michelle (Jelley) and Ken Wilkens, a firefighter in Riverdale and Crete. For more information, visit benefitforbrett.com or call Cindy Jelley at (708) 473-2035.

Here are this week’s celebrity announcements: Happy 10th birthday to Dylan Suchy and Nelson Quintana from their families. Happy 11th birthday to Matthew Berger. Birthday wishes go out to Aislee Klups, who’s turning 12, from her family. Declan Brown and Lisa Truesdale are celebrating their 15th birthday. Happy 17th birthday to Tom DeMoss from his parents, Diane and Jim, and Andie.

Birthday wishes go out to Kody Frega from his parents, Kyle and Patrick. Happy 22nd birthday to Robert Gertos, Jeffrey Bauer and to Jeffrey’s parents, Beverly and Jeffrey. Kathy and Tony Kalant wish their son, Bill, a happy 25th birthday. Happy 26th birthday to Stephanie Laidlaw from her parents. Happy 27th birthday to Laura Baikie and to Mike Walwent from their families.

Dawn Carlsen’s grandchildren — Jonathan, Grace, Jilliann, Steven and Erica — wish her a happy birthday. Happy birthday to Heather Gilligan from Tim, their children and family. Happy birthday to Vicki Brooks from Frank, Tim, Kristen, Eddie, Meaner and grandson Teddy. Happy 93rd birthday to Russell Markle from Clare and their family. Happy birthday to Mike Fahey and congrats on your retirement (Sept. 27) with love from Sydney, Jimmy, Sofia and Reagan.

Wedding anniversary wishes go out to the following couples: Sean and Alena Aurnada on their first anniversary; Dana and Beth Escamilla’s sixth anniversary; Michael and Marcie Sanfrantello’s ninth; Christopher and Bonnie Reich’s 11th; Michael and Patricia Fitzgerald’s 13th; Kurt and Yvonne Wilamowsky’s 14th; Charlie and Debbie Gonsowsky’s 21st; Michelle and Kevin Cappel’s 29th; and Jim and Helen Cosentino’s 53rd anniversary.

Keep your fellow Oak Lawnians informed about birthdays, special events or special “stuff”going on with your family or within the community. Call me at (708) 899-9544 or email me at the address above. Until next time ...



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