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Community picnic returns with traditional family activities

The 4th of July community picnic will return this year to Izaak Walton Nature Preserve after a pandemic hiatus, but the event will reach back further than two years for its inspiration.

The Family Fun Fest sponsored by the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District, which followed the Homewood 4th of July parade for a decade or more, will not return. 

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Instead, Izaak Walton volunteers are bringing back the pre-Fun Fest version that was a regular feature of the holiday celebration for many years. 

Izaak Walton Board President John Brinkman said it taps into the community’s traditional gathering.

“It’s kind of an old fashioned throw back. Simple games that bring together families,” he said.

The event will begin shortly after 11 a.m. as the parade arrives at the preserve, 1100 Ridge Road in Homewood. 

Volunteers will offer food and refreshments for sale, including brats, hot dogs, corn on the cob, soft drinks and water.

“Games for Everyone” will take place in the east meadow. Activities will include foot races for young age groups, and a crawling race for the youngest children, three-legged sack races, water balloon tosses, egg toss and catch contests.

T-shirts and goodie bags will be presented to game winners. 

There will be cash prizes for winners of a bag toss tournament, $100 for
the winning team and $50 for the second place team.

The volleyball net will be available for informal use. 

The bag toss tournament will start at 11:30 a.m. Other games will start at 12:30 p.m. and end about 1:30 p.m.

There also will be activity stations sponsored by local businesses and organizations, including the Homewood Science Center, Serendipity Yoga, Homewood Baseball and Softball and Goodspeed Cycles.

John Harrell State Farm Insurance will provide free face painting.

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