When summer is in full swing, Chicago-area residents are always seeking outdoor festivities to celebrate with friends and neighbors.
This past weekend, Forest Parkers looked no further than their own main street as the village hosted its second annual Music Fest on Madison between Desplaines and Circle avenues.
The three-day neighborhood festival, held Friday through Sunday, was marketed as an event for both kids and adults to come out and enjoy camaraderie with old and new faces in the village’s main business district. Music Fest also allowed the village to showcase Madison Street’s latest improvements, including repaving and landscaping beautification downtown Forest Park as well as attracting new visitors.
The fest featured two beer gardens, food booths from local bars and restaurants, boutique sidewalk sales, carnival games and music from over 20 area bands, including Forest Park residents Mike and Katie Redmond’s rock band “The Redmonds.”
North Riverside resident Veronika Harris who works as a server at Madison Street’s O’Sullivan’s Public House was glad she decided to come out and work the event.
“It’s been pretty fun,” she said. “I like the live bands and music and the food everywhere is my favorite part.”
Forest Park resident Varieta Baines attended the event last year and was excited to see this year’s dining and entertainment showcases.
“[Forest Park] seems to grow every year and the different vendors make it interesting and make me want to come out and see who’s here,” she said.
The fest attracted people from neighboring villages, including Oak Park resident Mike Doody and his son Roan. Doody said he came to the event on Saturday for the first time and was glad he stopped by.
“I just saw it driving around this morning, and I figured we’d just stop by, have some lunch and listen to music,” he said.
Fellow Oak Parker Steve Sofferman was also happy to attend the fest for the first time.
“It’s cool,” he said. “There’s a good variety of food and I like being outside with live music.”
Berwyn resident Antoine Taylor frequents Forest Park venues and was happy to see that the fest offered things for the entire family to enjoy, including rides and games for his daughter Olivia.
“We came last year [but this year] we were surprised to see the attractions for the kids,” he said.
People even came from suburbs further west, including Raquel Johnson of Hinsdale and her daughter Greta. Johnson frequently visits a family friend who lives near Madison Street and is impressed by the friendliness of residents and variety of businesses in Forest Park.
“It’s always such a great neighborhood and we love it,” she said. “I think the community, shops and restaurants make it a fun community.”