It is 4th of July weekend, the time of year we remember 1776 and our independence from Great Britain. Who knew that 240 years later, the Brits would be engaged in an exodus all their own with the decision to vote for Brexit and leave the European Union? To be fair, this one is a lot different in that instead of “No taxation without representation,” it’s “Oh my God, we actually voted to leave the EU. Why did we do that?” The good news is that research shows at least 1.2 million people who voted for Brexit are now regretting that decision, which could essentially reverse the result; only time will tell.
While our friends overseas figure themselves out, I suggest going “full-blown America” all weekend, whatever that means to you. Fireworks, parades, choosing to get coffee from Live Fresko on Oak Park Avenue instead of Starbucks. The choice to read Around Oak Park today instead of the Tribune or Wednesday Journal. The choice is yours and it’s all because we live in a free country, and you can do whatever you want. We’ve outlined a few ideas in case you need some inspiration.
4th of July Fireworks
The 4th of July fireworks will begin at dusk on Monday in the football stadium of OPRF High School, near East Avenue and Lake Street. The fireworks display is presented by the local non-profit, Great American Light Show Association.
Independence Day Parade
Monday beginning at 10 a.m.
The annual Independence Day Parade will start at Longfellow Park, located at Ridgeland and Adams, and head north on Augusta, turning east to disperse near Whittier Elementary School. Among the entries typically scheduled to march are social and special interest groups, community groups, athletic teams, politicians, businesses and service organizations, children’s groups, animal lovers with their pets and musical groups, according to the village.
5th Annual Sculpture Walk
The 5th Annual Oak Park Sculpture Walk features 12 sculptures from various local artists. The sculptures can be viewed as a part of the outdoor exhibit in Mills Park near Pleasant and Home Avenues. The walking tour will be open for public viewing until Sept. 5.
Summer Concert Series
Sunday from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Enjoy free concerts on Sundays throughout the summer at Scoville Park, 800 W. Lake Street. This week, bluegrass outfit Wood Street Bloodhounds will grace the stage. This group is comprised of five musicians who set the mood with banjos, dobros and mandolins. You might find yourself involuntarily tapping your foot along to the melodies as these guys play.
Oak Park Farmers Market
Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Oak Park Farmers Market is now in its 41st annual year. Items for sale include locally grown produce, flowers, bedding plants, honey, cheese, frozen meat, bread, and doughnuts. Cash is the preferred method of payment but credit and debit are available depending on the vendor. The Farmers Market is located in the Pilgrim Congregational Church parking lot, 460 Lake Street.
Pygmalion at Austin Gardens
In honor of George Bernard Shaw’s 160th birthday, the Oak Park Festival Theatre presents his immortal tale Pygmalion: a story of a phonetics professor who tutors a lower-class girl to speak proper English in order to pass for a “lady.” The play will be shown at Austin Gardens, 167 Forest Avenue, Oak Park. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 7 p.m. Tickets are $29 for general admission, $26 for seniors, $15 for students, children under 12 and dogs are free. To purchase, visit oakparkfestival.com.