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Dekker: Springtime events begin on Oak Park Avenue

Oak Forest High School students Janelle Paguiligan AldwCabalfpose bench Zabrocki Plaztheir prom night May 18. | Supplied photo

Oak Forest High School students Janelle Paguiligan and Aldwin Cabalfin pose on a bench in Zabrocki Plaza on their prom night, May 18. | Supplied photo

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Updated: June 27, 2013 6:16AM



There’s nothing like springtime to make you feel alive. It’s so good to be outside again without a coat and gloves.

You know that it’s springtime in Tinley Park when the artists’ benches appear on Oak Park Avenue. This year, 45 artists participated as groups, organizations or individuals to create 20 works of fanciful, fairy tale art.

This year’s theme of the village’s annual public art project is “Fairy Tale Festival,” and it has certainly brought out the whimsy in the artists. From “Hansel and Gretel” to “Jack and the Beanstalk” and every imaginative place in between, this year’s benches portray our childhood favorites, all larger than life.

The benches are on display along Oak Park Avenue from 172nd to 176th streets in downtown Tinley Park until October.

There will be a “meet the artists” night from 6 to 8 p.m. June 15, preceding a concert in Zabrocki Plaza featuring The Juke Box Band. The artists will be at their benches to greet you and answer questions about their artwork.

Costumed characters will be strolling the street to add to the atmosphere, and families are encouraged to dress as their favorite fairy tale characters. With the benches as a backdrop, imagine the photo opportunities!

Farmers market

Another favorite back after the long winter is the Tinley Park Farmers Market, which will open for its 16th season at 7 a.m. June 1. All your favorite vendors are back along with a few new ones.

The market, which will be open from 7 a.m. to noon on Saturdays through October, is a great place to find fresh fruits and vegetables, plants, flowers, jewelry, arts and crafts, specialty foods and products and much more.

With more than 60 vendors, you’ll be sure to find something unique. There are also kids crafts and face painting starting at 9 a.m. at the market through September.

Cruise nights

Downtown Tinley Cruise Nights resume at 5 p.m. June 4. The event will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. each Tuesday through Aug. 27, featuring some of the coolest vintage, antique and specialty cars along Oak Park Avenue from 171st to 173rd streets.

I love spending Tuesday nights in the downtown area. It feels like a weekend party in the middle of the week. You’ll find good food, ice cream, music and beer, and that’s just at VFW Post 2791! It’s really a great way to relax and have fun at midweek.

Vogt Visual Arts Center

From 7 to 9 p.m. June 7, the Vogt Visual Arts Center will hold its first jazz concert of the season. The free event at the arts center’s gazebo will feature the jazz ensemble, The Nuclear Quartet.

These concerts are held “Ravinia-style” — bring your chairs or blankets as well as your refreshments.

On that same evening, there will also be a reception inside the arts center for the art gallery’s June exhibit. The public is welcome. So come out and enjoy a night of beautiful art and music. The Vogt Center is at 17420 S. 67th Court. For more information, call (708) 309-4371.

Relay for Life

The 2013 Tinley Park/Orland Park Relay for Life will be held from 2 p.m. to 6 a.m. June 1 and 2 at Tinley Park High School, 6111 W. 175th St.

The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life program provides a community a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, to remember loved ones lost and to fight back against the disease.

Each year more than 4 million people in more than 5,200 communities in the U.S., along with communities in 19 other countries, take part in this global phenomenon to raise much-needed funds and increase awareness to save lives from cancer. For more information, visit the event website at www.relayforlife.org/tinleyparkil.



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