The first day of summer 2014 (or the summer solstice) is June 21. I recommend you spend this day in the village of South Holland and plan for a centennial celebration, historical re-enactment, recreational fun, and round off the day under the starry sky.
As the South Holland Fire Department celebrates 100 years of serving the community, an antique fire apparatus parade will take place at 10 a.m. beginning from Fire Station 1 at 16230 Wausau Ave. to Maicach Park at 165th and Ellis. All participating apparatus will be on display at the park, with first-, second- and third-place awards presented, along with an award for furthest traveled. In addition to the show, South Holland firefighters will serve refreshments, including grilled hamburgers and hotdogs.
Sand Ridge Nature Center will celebrate “Juneteenth” on the 21st from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. “Juneteenth” is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. This event has been a tradition of the African American culture since the late 19th century. The program, hosted by the Forest Preserves of Cook County, will include the journey to freedom historical hike re-enactments and a permanent exhibit of the Underground Railroad. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and the Forest Preserve District of Cook County General Superintendent Arnold Randall are expected to attend “Juneteenth.”
Residents of South Holland are invited to have lunch and recreational fun with members of the Neighborhood Groups Organizing Committee during the first of two neighborhood block parties. On June 21, noon to 4 p.m., at Hollandale Park (164th Street and Michigan Avenue), the village of South Holland welcomes residents for good ole fashioned block party. The event is free and will include a series of family-friendly games, inflatable bouncer, face painting, grilled hamburgers and hotdogs, and more. A second neighborhood block party is planned for Aug. 9, at Maicach Park.
South Holland will round up the first day of summer under the starry sky with a movie in Veterans Memorial Park, also free and open to the public. "Iron Man 3" will be shown on the big screen, with plenty of viewing area available on the softball field, located at 420 E. 160th Place. Home Plate Grill will be open to meet movie concessions needs, offering a full menu of items, such as popcorn, funnel cakes, nachos, pizza, smoothies, shakes and soda, soft pretzels, candy, and more.
I recommend topping off the month of June with the opening of Town Center Marketplace — South Holland’s Farmers Market — on June 27, from noon to 6 p.m. Located at 400 E. 162nd St. (northeast corner), opening day will feature live light jazz music provided by Chayce and free lunch samples prepared by Chef William Echols, using fresh products available at the market. With a renewed focus on producers and food vendors, market shoppers will have their pick of farm fresh fruits and vegetables from Zeldenrust Farms; fresh chicken, duck and quail eggs from Fulcrum Farms; and organic flavor-infused olive oils from AH-LIVE (Olive).
Prepared foods will include tacos and burritos by Spice Chef; cupcakes, cookies and pies by Auntie Vee’s; gourmet snack treats by Kingdom Sweets; ribs, chicken and seafood by I-94 Ribs; and hoagies by Kozy Korner Katering. Specialty items, such as Tupperware, Pampered Chef, and Scentaffection soy-based candles, soaps and lotions, will complete the vast array of market products. The first 50 market shoppers will receive a black village of South Holland shopping tote.
Whew! Now that’s how a community kicks off the summer solstice!