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It’s a date — Chicago Ridge making fun plans for its centennial celebration

  • Written by Bob Rakow

  Chicago Ridge is moving forward with plans to celebrate its centennial, but needed to resolve one small order of business first: determining the official date of village incorporation.

  Village officials met on Sept. 1, 1914, and voted to incorporate Chicago Ridge. But the paperwork wasn’t filed until October, leading to some confusion about the true date of incorporation.
  The issue was resolved after Village Attorney George Witous did some research at the Secretary of State’s office.
  “Sept. 1, 1914, was the initial date. That is the date of record,” Witous said at Tuesday’s village board meeting.
  “We’re going with the meeting date because that’s when the action was taken,” said Village Clerk George Schleyer.
  Now that the incorporation date is settled, village officials can focus on planning the year-long anniversary celebration.
  Mayor Chuck Tokar recently named seven more people to the committee that will plan the celebration. He said there’s room on the committee for more interested residents.
  “We could probably use another four or five people,” Tokar said. “There are a lot of different chores.”
  The committee will meet at 5:30 p.m. Monday at village hall, 10455 S. Ridgeland Ave.
  Tokar named former mayor Gene Siegel as the honorary chairman of the committee, which will break into subcommittees to plan all phases of the celebration.
  Preliminary plans call for a centennial ball dinner dance, a parade co-sponsored with Worth, a weekend festival, a fire hydrant painting contest, the release of a village history book and a community cook book. The celebration also will feature an eighth grade essay contest and a historical bus tour that will include locations in Worth.
  The village also will open a time capsule buried 25 years ago at the old village hall and bury a new one, Tokar said.
  Tokar said he envisions a community festival that reflects games and recreation popular a century ago, such as an old-time photo booth; watermelon, hot dog and pie-eating contests; horseshoe pitching and children’s games played in early 1900s.
  The village also plans to design an anniversary banner to display on light poles and will hang bunting on village buildings, the train station and gazebo.