Entertainment

Villages announce mix of familiar and new events

Flossmoor’s centennial has provided an opportunity to rethink community events as Homewood and Flossmoor plan their calendars for 2024 with new events mixed in with ongoing favorites.

The biggest change is the retirement of Flossmoor Fest, the village’s annual fall festival for the past quarter century. Since the founding of the Hidden Gem Half Marathon, the two events have taken place on the same day, the first Saturday after Labor Day.

This year, a new event, Kegs & Eggs, will follow the running of the Hidden Gem on Sept. 7. More details on that event will be available in coming months.

Flossmoor is rolling out a new fall festival, Oaktoberfest, taking place in downtown on Oct. 5.

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Flossmoor Community Engagement Manager Stephanie Wright said the time was right for reimagining the village’s biggest event.

“Flossmoor Fest was born out of the 75th anniversary of the village. Now the village is turning 100,” she said. “It was a perfect opportunity to kind of take a look at our events.”

She said Oaktoberfest is an example of incorporating the community’s values into its celebrations.

“The most important thing to the residents of our community when we gather together are service and educational opportunities, so Oaktoberfest by day will be environmental-based science and learning opportunities for kids and families. By night, people can expect a more traditional October Fest-type event with beer hall style tents and big pretzels.”

The main event for the village’s centennial celebration will be Take Me Out to the Ballgame, an old-fashioned baseball game on June 20 at Homewood-Flossmoor High School’s varsity field organized in partnership with Flossmoor Baseball and Softball.

“It’s just going to be a great celebration of friends, family,” Wright said.

The village will also have traditional events throughout the year. Highlights include:

  • April 20: Flossmoor Baseball and Softball opening day parade.
  • June 7: Starry Night/Pride Fest in partnership with H-F Park District and Homewood.
  • June 19: Juneteenth Parade.
  • July 4: Volunteer Fire Department 4th of July Bike Parade.
  • July 25: Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra’s Chamber Night.
  • Aug. 6: National Night Out.
  • Aug. 16: Back to School Birthday Bash.
  • Sept. 7: Hidden Gem Half Marathon and Kegs & Eggs.
  • Nov. 30: Celebrate the Season.
  • Dec. 19: Holiday Lights Parade.

In Homewood, there will be a new series of quarterly scavenger hunt events designed to bring people downtown. The events will include one in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, as well as summer, fall and Thanksgiving-themed searches, according to Events Manager Marla Youngblood.

The summer Farmers Market will open on May 25 and will remain much the same, but the Wednesday evening market will be rebranded and reshaped into the Martin Square Block Party, from 6 to 10 p.m. on the last Wednesday of June, July and August.

“We’re hoping to provide a place for locals to gather and enjoy great food, live music and amazing camaraderie,” Youngblood said.

Another change: Artisan Street Fair is returning to its former name, the Art & Garden Street Fair.

Youngblood said the festival on May 31 and June 1 will remain the same with a wide variety of craft and art vendors, plus food, music and family activities.

The name change comes as local businesswomen Dodi Wians and Lisa Komorowksi step away from their role as curators of the vendors due to work obligations.

Homewood is bringing back familiar festivals and events, including:

  • March 30, April 27: Last two indoor Farmers Markets of the season.
  • May 18: Public Works Open House.
  • June 7: Starry Night/Pride Fest in partnership with Flossmoor and the H-F Park District.
  • July 4: 4th of July Parade.
  • July 21: GottsChalk-the-Walk.
  • Aug. 6: National Night Out.
  • August (date to be determined): Truckin’ Into the School Year.
  • Sept. 21: Fall Fest/Chili Cook-off.
  • Oct. 5: Fire Department Open House.
  • Dec. 6: Holiday Lights.

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