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The Village of Park Forest celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. Mayor Joseph Woods created the Ad Hoc Anniversary Committee to help plan various events throughout the year.
The committee includes three Village staff liaisons, including Kevin Adams, the Recreation, Parks, and Community Health Department director.
Adams said the goal is to unite the community and educate residents about the Village.
"The Village will be showcased in a variety of ways that are informative, nostalgic, entertaining, and forward-thinking as part of the 75th anniversary celebrations, which the Ad Hoc Anniversary Committee is planning," Adams said.
Adams continued, "Throughout the year, the Village will celebrate the 75th anniversary with beloved events like the Pioneers Brunch, Main Street Nights, and the 4th of July. Additionally, major holidays like Memorial Day and Veterans Day will have unique programming linked to the milestone."
Adams said the first event of the year to celebrate the Village's 75th anniversary will be a cake-cutting ceremony at Freedom Hall next month. Adams mentioned this open house date is significant because it's the Village's incorporation date, Feb 1.
"We wanted to highlight the Village's birthday on its birthday," Adams said. "The location of the open house will be the first floor of Freedom Hall. A DJ, live jazz music, and a special anniversary cake cutting -made by Dolce by Dori, a Park Forest-based business, will be featured at the event."
Adams added, "Throughout the evening, the first of three promotional videos highlighting Park Forest's rich history will be played in a continuous cycle. Guests will be encouraged to discuss their experience in Park Forest with the Village's communications team. The lobby will feature a photo backdrop for attendees to use while attending the event."
Adams said while people are at the open house, they'll learn more about the rich history of Park Forest.
"It's vital for people to learn why Park Forest is so important," Adams said. "For starters, it helps us feel more connected to our community. It's also important for keeping our history alive. When you delve into our history, you can witness our triumphs and challenges as a community, and you can use that knowledge to tackle current problems."
Adams continued, "Learning about Park Forest's past helps us make better decisions about the present and, more significantly, how we want to see it unfold in the years to come. We are a resilient, innovative community that has triumphed through hardship and maintained its relevance throughout the years. The story is far from over, even if a lot of ground has been covered."
Adams encouraged residents to stay engaged with the Village on social media and the Village's website to learn more about the events that will take place this year.
The open house at Freedom Hall is scheduled for Feb 1., at 5 p.m.