A day o' fun in the park

  • Written by Jason Maholy

Overcast skies that threatened to dampen the afternoon of Evergreen Park’s biggest community event did not keep hundreds of people from coming out to the annual Day in The Park.

The summer get-together was held last Saturday in Klein Park, 97th Street and Homan Avenue, where the clouds eventually parted and youths partook in pony rides, and fed goats and chickens. The park’s playground was well-populated with young children, while older boys organized an impromptu game of kickball on one of the park’s several dirt diamonds. Still others sought good times by building sand castles and other creations in the sand volleyball pits.

COLOR dayinpark3 4colNathan Zimmer, 3, of Evergreen Park, laughs as he descends a slide while playing in Klein Park’s playground during the annual Day in the Park. Evergreen Park’s signature event was held last Saturday in Klein Park and the grounds of the Community Center, 97th Street and Homan Avenue. Photo by Jason MaholyThe event also featured food vendors – including the Evergreen Park Fire Department, which was grilling Polish sausages smothered in onions -- a craft fair and face painting. Youths dressed in firefighter gear and explored the roof and interior of a fire engine.

Among the attendees of Day in the Park was Evergreen Park native Kim Cunningham, who now lives in Homer Glen but still works in Evergreen and visits often for various occasions including the Independence Day fireworks and the annual Most Holy Redeemer carnival.

“My parents still live her and my brother still lives her with his family, so we come here frequently,” Cunningham said. “I’ve been here for [Day in the Park] just about every year since it started. I like [her children] to be around where I grew up, and we visit family and friends.”

Cunningham grew up playing in Klein Park – known to her and other locals for many years as Circle Park – and also frequented Duffy Park. She graduated from Evergreen Park High School in 1995, and played softball for the Lady Mustangs.

At the event as a vendor was 11-year-old Maura Maloney, who was selling homemade wallets, purses, bracelets, vases and other accessories – all made from duct tape. Maura became interested in the art of duct tape accessories about two months ago after her cousin showed her how to make  few items, and has since schooled herself by watching the many how-to videos on YouTube.  She had sold about 25 items in the first four hours of Day in the Park.

Maura did not skimp on the overhead, either. She on her mother’s advice used Ziplock bags as her base so that the accessories would be practically useful.

PG4 dayinpark2 3colTaylor Combs, 1½, and her father, Tom, of Evergreen Park, feed grass to a goat.