What controversy? Few visible changes for Oak Lawn’s Fall on the Green
BY BOB RAKOW Correspondent September 6, 2012 6:14PM
Scarecrows greet festival-goers at Fall on the Green in 2011. | Supplied Photo
Updated: October 9, 2012 2:36PM
Oak Lawn’s Fall on the Green festival has been a topic of much debate and political posturing in recent months, but the village’s annual celebration begins Friday night with few changes that will be visible to visitors.
The village board recently selected a firm to conduct a forensic audit of the 2011 Fall on the Green. Trustee Bob Streit, the new chairman of the special events committee, called for the audit in June. He is questioning the contracting, accounting and management tactics by Trustee Tom Phelan, the former committee chairman, and claims Phelan used the festival as a political tool to punish or reward people with VIP passes based on politics.
Mayor Dave Heilmann also claimed Phelan controlled the flow of festival VIP wristbands and free food vouchers.
Phelan has denied the allegations.
Streit did not address the issue in an email response to a request for comment for this story.
The 17th annual edition of Fall on the Green is expected to be very similar to the festival of recent years. There’s something for everyone as bands, food, children’s activities and arts and crafts come together during a three-day celebration designed to bid farewell to summer and welcome the autumn season.
The festival, at 95th Street and Cook Avenue, runs from 6 p.m. Friday to 12:30 a.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. Saturday to 12:30 a.m. Sunday, and 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday.
Admission, parking and shuttle buses are free. Shuttle buses are available next to the Metra train station parking tower every quarter-hour beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. Sunday.
Several bands will perform during the festival, including well-known acts such as Infinity, the Dancing Noodles and a host of tribute bands.
The beer garden will again offer a wide selection of microbrews in addition to domestic beer and wine. Big-screen televisions will feature college and professional football games. A wide variety of culinary delights prepared by local restaurants will be available in the adjacent food tent.
Arts and crafts from more than 55 local and regional vendors will be available from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at a new location: the parking lot of the Masonic Temple, 9420 S. 52nd Ave.
Other fest highlights include a Ferris wheel, mechanical bull and inflatable slide. A children’s area will feature games, inflatables, face painters, a tattoo parlor and bathtub races.
The teen area, located in the village hall parking lot, includes a climbing wall, bungee run and the newly added water ball pond.