Mario on back to school night: ‘Let’s-a go!’

District 161 Superintendent Dana Smith takes a break from handing out Italian ice to pose with mascots. (Chris Weber/H-F Chronicle)

Community members celebrated the beginning of the new school year with a “Back to School Movie Night” on Friday, Aug. 18. 

The end of summer event at Flossmoor Park included activities, giveaways and as the sun set, the movie “Super Mario Bros.” appeared on a big screen. 

“We host this event annually in partnership with the Flossmoor Public Library,” said Stephanie Wright, the community engagement manager for District 161. “It’s really a community effort to celebrate the beginning of the school year.”

The annual event was supported by School Districts 161 and 233, the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District and other community organizations. 


“Our back to school event along with the Village of Flossmoor is an amazing opportunity for people in our community to come together and have fun,” said School District 161 Board Secretary Christina Vlietstra.

Kids enjoyed playing in the park and jumping in bounce houses for a few hours. Booths, set up around the perimeter of the park, offered face painting, treats and information about community programs and events. Perhaps most importantly, the event gave parents and students a chance to come together with school staff and enjoy some time meeting up after completing the first days of a new school year.

“It’s one of my favorite nights of the year,” said Superintendent Dana Smith. “We have an opportunity to celebrate with all of our families, parents and community members without kids. It is an excellent night to meet neighbors, friends and new people while we start the new year off positively.”

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