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Flake Fest offers a chance to just chill

Megan Dougherty 6 wears Blackhawks goalie mask hthshe bought Hawks game as she stands by her mother Julie Hemry.

Megan Dougherty, 6, wears a Blackhawks goalie mask hat that she bought at a Hawks game, as she stands by her mother, Julie Hemry. | Alison Nicol~For Sun-Times Media

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The annual Family Flake Fest at Yukich Field at 89th Street and Kedzie Avenue in Evergreen Park really lived up to its name. There were more flakes than one could count — of the softly falling snow variety, of course.

But there may have been some warm feelings generated, too: Funds were raised for some worthy causes, including Ronald McDonald House in Oak Lawn.

The Fest was from 1 to 6 p.m. Feb. 8, and admission was free for all, with activities that included children’s speedskating races in the outdoor skating pavilion. All children received a blue, long-sleeved commemorative T-shirt and a gift bag that included bottled water and candy.

Activities inside the Evergreen Park Fire Department garage next door included a bake sale, face painting, cookie decorating and arts and crafts. Some of the vendors manning tables inside included First National Bank of Evergreen Park, Little Company of Mary Hospital, Mother Butter’s Popcorn and Confectionary, and the First United Methodist Church of Evergreen Park.

Church youth group leader Joy Vogelstanz and her sister Roberta said that all of their baked goods were made by members of the youth group, with proceeds benefitting various charities including Ronald McDonald House near Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn. The group helps provide Meals From The Heart, which feeds families of children receiving care there.

Despite the weather, many attendees said they were glad to get out of the house. Peggy Neubeck, a preschool art and geography teacher at the Evergreen Park rec center, said, “We need this. Look at all the beautiful snowflakes for Flake Fest. It gets everybody out of the house. No more cabin fever.”

For 3-year-old Maira and her mom Melanie, the chance to decorate and eat a cookie are what got them out of the house.

“It’s been snowing forever,” Melanie said. “It’s just great to get out, and we’re enjoying the crafts.”

For others, such as 12-year-old Kayley Burke, it’s the thrill of the race that drives her.

”I’m racing against myself. I want to beat my time by, oh, maybe one second,” she said.

Ice rink general manager Peter Mixan said that while his favorite part of the fest is the speedskating races, it is nice that “it’s free for everyone.”



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