Forest Park has long known how to have some fun. 

But we’re getting better at having large group fun, something more organized than tossing back a few with buddies.

Here’s three notable examples of fun in a crowd. One immediate. One returning. And one, we hope, improving.

St. Pat’s Parade

The forecast for this Saturday calls for 57 degrees and clouds. We predict sleet and, possibly, locusts. The Chamber has not often lucked out on the weather front for its annual St. Patrick’s Parade. But we’ll be there, the Review that is. There’ll be dozens of floats and bands. This is a first-rate parade. And along the Madison Street parade route, we expect several thousand determined Irish or Irish-leaning people. Or, a few hours in, perhaps just several thousand leaning people.

This is a wonderful event, a family-event actually, during parade and daytime hours, and some sort of odd pre-cursor to spring. Be there.

Return of fireworks

The park district and village hall are planning a return to 4th of July fireworks. After a multi-year hiatus caused by knuckleheads looking to disrupt and show off, the powers-that-be are now confident they’ve found a formula that promises both safety and fun.

We understood the original decision back in 2012 to end this holiday tradition. Safety must come first when a community gathers for an officially licensed event. The counter argument, which we can also readily make, is that when a town cancels an event such as the fireworks in the face of such worries, it is effectively ceding the town to the troublemakers.

The village council approved a park district request Monday to solicit donations to help subsidize the fireworks and other entertainment on the 4th. Park District Executive Director Larry Piekarz said the parks are looking for this year’s return to be on a somewhat smaller scale.

Good for the park district and the village government.

Music Fest’s third go-round

It takes time to build a notable street fest. So kudos to the Chamber of Commerce and the village government for its continuing investment in Music Fest. This will be the third year for the three-day July event on Madison Street. Once again the top-notch Star Events will produce the event.

We know that Music Fest is not universally popular with businesses along Madison Street. They see it as more of a lost weekend than a key attraction of current or potential customers. We see this event as a strong effort to make Forest Park a legit destination for young adults from across the city. Keeping Forest Park on that map is critical to attracting shoppers, diners and potential movers to our village.

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