Hometown Halloween


Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter

Laurie Kokenes

What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Halloween? For me it's obvious — Forest Park! Why? I can give you about 800,000 reasons. With a population of about 14,000, Forest Park has something like 56 to 1 dead versus living residents. 

Those numbers vary depending on your search, but they are impressive even at 30 to 1. Back in the day, we were often referred to as "The Village of Cemeteries." Now there's a claim to fame! Of course, if you live, shop, work, dine or play in Forest Park, you already know we are so much more.

With that bit of history, there should be plenty to do here in October … and there is. It's safe to say that Forest Park owns Halloween, especially on Oct. 26 when we host the Casket Races. Fortunately, our sinister census relieves me of the burden of explaining why on earth we have a casket race.

If you Google coffin or casket races, the Emma Crawford Coffin Races in Colorado pop up along with the Chamber's Forest Park Flapper Ghost Casket Races and some great videos of both events. If those videos don't spark your competitive spirit enough to start building your ride now, they most certainly will convince you to join in the fun as a spectator.

Here's what's happening on Oct. 26: The family-friendly Casket Races will be held on Beloit Avenue between Madison & Adams with the first race starting at 11 a.m.  for your favorite team, rock out to creepy classics played by the Windy City Hitman (the official Casket Race DJ), and delight in watching the kids and pets parade and costume contest. After the races, trick or treat with the kids on Madison Street, then head to the park district for Trunk or Treat from 2 to 4 p.m.

After dark, grab your friends and get decked out in your favorite Zombie garb and join us for the creepiest pub-crawl this side of the grave.  

Wander Madison Street from 8 p.m. till midnight, in search of some blood curdling drink specials and other Halloween fun. Check out the Chamber's Facebook page @forestparkchamber for event details.

Visit some of Forest Park's famous gravesites at the Historical Society's Haymarket Monument/Radical Row Tour on Oct. 5. Find out more at www.forestparkhistory.org.

For kids 5 and under, the library is hosting Monster Mash Storytime at the Community Center on Oct. 25 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Register now at https://bit.ly/2miC5AL to ensure your space.

After all that fun, you're bound to get hungry. Not to worry. There's no shortage of dining options. Grab a bite to eat at your favorite spot, or try something new.

Happy Halloween, Forest Park!

Laurie Kokenes is executive director of the Forest Park Chamber of Commerce & Development.

Love the Review?

Become our partner in independent community journalism

Thanks for turning to Forest Park Review and ForestParkReview.com. We love our thousands of digital-only readers. Now though we're asking you to partner up in paying for our reporters and photographers who report this news. It had to happen, right?

On the plus side, we're giving you a simple way, and a better reason, to join in. We're now a non-profit -- Growing Community Media -- so your donation is tax deductible. And signing up for a monthly donation, or making a one-time donation, is fast and easy.

No threats from us. The news will be here. No paywalls or article countdowns. We're counting on an exquisite mix of civic enlightenment and mild shaming. Sort of like public radio.

Claim your bragging rights. Become a digital member.

Donate Now

Reader Comments

No Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Facebook Connect

Community Guide 2019 - 2020

To view the full print edition of the Forest Park Review 2019 - 2020 Community Guide, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Forest Park.

MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad

Latest Comments