Hinderman: May’s busy schedule leads us into summer
By Laura Hinderman Citizen Journalistemail@example.com May 9, 2013 2:46PM
Updated: June 13, 2013 5:51PM
Welcome, May, a month that evokes visions of mums, moms, Mexico, memories and music — beginning with May Day and wrapping up with Memorial Day.
The celebration of May Day historically was marked by a ritual in which small baskets are filled with flowers and treats and left anonymously on neighbors’ doorsteps. Akin to “ding, dong, ditch,” the doorbell is rung, the person leaves the basket and runs away. The recipient tries to catch the fleeing “giver” and, if caught, exchanges a kiss.
Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo, or the Fifth of May, is a Mexican holiday commemorating democracy, and in the U.S., celebrating Mexican pride and heritage. In the U.S., celebrations emphasize the culture, food and music that are associated with Mexico.
Not to be confused with Mexico’s Independence Day (on Sept. 16), Cinco de Mayo originally was a way to commemorate the cause of freedom during the American Civil War.
Today’s holiday was first celebrated in America in 1908, was declared an official national holiday in 1914 by President Woodrow Wilson and gained more observance by the 1920s. Similar observances have existed worldwide, with different dates and rituals inherent to the country of origin.
Anna Jarvis, the woman who originally campaigned for the holiday to honor her mother, was disappointed that the U.S. holiday had become too commercialized. Many mothers might agree that the simpler the sentiment, the more poignant.
The last holiday of the month is Memorial Day, which remembers and honors those who have died serving our country. Many people visit gravesites and arrange flowers, flags, or other decorations — whether the deceased has served in the military or not — making it also a “memory day.”
In Orland Park, the village’s veterans commission adds the names of veterans to the granite wall surrounding the village’s veterans memorial. Remembered military need not be residents of Orland Park or deceased.
Orland Days festival
From May 29 through June 2, the Orland Park Lions Club will again host its annual Orland Days festival in the parking lot of the 153rd Street Metra station. This is a long tradition in the village and is its largest community event.
The festival parade steps off at 1 p.m. June 2, with a theme honoring cheerleaders with the “Year of the Cheerleaders.”
An integral part of the Orland Park community, the Lions Club chapter has hosted Orland Days, Haunted Woods, golf outings, wine tastings and Christmas tree sales as well as its “recycle for sight” initiative. The drive collects usable eyeglasses and sunglasses for distribution to needy children and adults in developing nations.
For more information on the Lions Club and the schedule of events for the Orland Days weekend, visit www.orlandparklionsclub.com
Water park opens
Here’s hoping warmer weather is going to stick around because the Centennial Park Aquatic Center opens at noon May 25 for its 22nd season. The pool complex will be open from noon to 8 p.m. daily (weather permitting) through Sept. 1.
The complex offers pools, multiple slides (body flume, drop, and tubes), a lazy river, a platform cliff jump, lap lanes and a zero-depth area (similar to a beach) with play structures. There are also picnic and pavilion areas, concession stands and sand volleyball courts.