In its 18th year, Blooming Fest continues to blossom, offering a myriad of activities for all ages. The fun begins at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, May 19, 2018, in the historic downtown area. Among the happenings are the Garden Club’s plant sale, garden-related craftsmen, children’s crafts and activities, car show, food booths, art displays, vendors and entertainment.
The West Chicago Garden Club Plant Sale, in its 21st year, is under the big tent on Galena Street. Among the plants available are annuals, perennials, Heritage tomatoes, peppers and other vegetables, shrubs and trees. Plant Sale Chairman Dan Bebee said, “We have more than 2,000 plants. Most of our plants are from the gardens of our members and acclimated to this area. We have some bushes and trees notably Annabelle Hydrangeas, Pagoda Dogwood trees, rose shrubs and peonies.” Members are on hand to answer questions. There is an area for customers to pick up their purchased plants.
Vendors selling plants are West Chicago Community High School Horticultural Club with flats of annuals and hanging baskets, Heinz Brothers Garden Center with annuals, perennials, vegetable starts and garden accents, and GardenWorks Project with organic vegetable seedlings and used tool giveaway, plus a class on gardening at Gallery 200, 103 West Washington Street. The Pink Wave Petunia Van of Ball Horticultural Company offers seeds, educational material and giveaways. Several of the community churches also have plant related sales and information. First United Methodist Church of West Chicago has information on monarch conservation and native gardens, plus a children’s craft. New Life Bilingual Church has a mulch sale. Trinity Lutheran Church sells house and vegetable plants, wooden tulips and has activities for children. Other vendors have garden or environment-related items. The West Chicago Environmental Commission has information on recycling, water conservation and the Monarch pledge. Kramer Tree Specialists has tree care information. SCARCE returns with its popular booth of activities and information on preservation and care of natural resources. Butterflies Everywhere has plants, crafts and jewelry. The University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions and give information on home gardening practices. River Prairie Group, Sierra Club and DuPage Monarch Project have pamphlets on environmental practices. It is always a buzzing around Sam’s Honey Bees with its honey products and bee colony display. Other garden related vendors sell various products such as birdhouses, yard art, heirloom transplants and planters.
The monthly Coffee with the Mayor takes place at the City of West Chicago’s booth. Mayor Ruben Pineda and other City officials are on hand to answer questions and to chat with residents and visitors to the community. Also it is the site for CERT, first aid, City and Blooming Fest information and the distribution of “Goodie Bags,” plus a One West Chicago activity.
The West Chicago City Museum opens its doors for a new exhibit, “Pop Art.” Outside, there are historic games for children, sponsored by the Friends of the West Chicago City Museum. Healthy West Chicago offers some fun tips on exercise, diet and drinks.
West Chicago Public Library District has a planting seed activity for children, bookmarks for planting, and information about library programs and services. The West Chicago Park District has information on upcoming programs, activities and events.
Art is an important part of the Fest. The banners of the winning artists in the 2018 City Banner completion are hanging on the light posts in the historic downtown district; a reception for the winning artists is from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Museum. Gallery 200 has a tent to sell some of the artwork of its members. Meanwhile at Gallery 200, Britta Renwick does a make and take bracelet session from noon to 2:00 p.m. Persons have the opportunity to win door prizes and to participate in a Silent Auction with the proceeds to benefit the scholarship fund for a West Chicago Community High School student. Artéculture, an exhibit of work by artists in the community and the Chicagoland area, takes place at Kindred Coffee Roasters, 148 West Washington Street.
Various not-for-profit groups distribute information and sell items. West Chicago Sister Cities has information on the organization and Taufkirchen (Vils), Germany. St. Michael’s United Church of Christ has flyers, information on PeaceJam and activities for children with the focus on repurposing everyday items. The Chicago Corvette Club offers another route of fun with its “Wheels” exhibit and children’s toy car racetrack. Children keep the car they race. Also the club is selling water to benefit Lurie Children’s Hospital, its charity choice for the year. West Chicago Elementary School District 33 provides district information. Elementary Teachers Association of West Chicago distributes free books. St. Andrew Lutheran Church distributes its church information. West Chicago Lions Club, West Chicago Rotary Club and Kiwanis Club of West Chicago have planter pot raffles. Amity Lodge 472 has water and organization information. Other vendors are selling jewelry, clothing, hair accessories, candles, jams and more. Of course, a crowd favorite is Treasured Animal Rescue.
Local businesses participating include Air Choice Heating & Cleaning, Daniel and Associates Real Estate, State Farm Insurance-Jason Dederich, Dolex Dollar Express, Republic Bank, FNBC Bank and Trust, Chiro One Wellness Center, Chris Mechanical Services, Inc. and Porcayo & Associates Realty. Western DuPage Chamber of Commerce has information on a planned tour trip to China.
A wide variety of entertainment takes place on the Main Stage, Dan Czuba is the emcee; he always wears a special hat for this occasion. The Presentation of the Colors is by Boy Scout Troop 33 and a short welcoming speech by Mayor Pineda opens the fest. Zumba with audience participation is at 9:15 and 10:00 a.m. Mariachi Los Rayos De Leman Middle School is on stage at 9:30 a.m. Presentation of the Banner Competition artists is at 10:15. Performing at 10:30 a.m. is the Ballet Folklorico of District 33. The Benjamin Rock Band plays at 11: 15 a.m. followed by West Chicago Trivia at noon. A boxing demonstration is 12:30 p.m. Musical performances by Kathie Torres is at 1:00 p.m. and Daniel Riche at 1:30 p.m. The last act of the day at 2:00 p.m. is More Than Molecules.
No fest is complete without food and the six vendors provide a great variety with something to appeal to all appetites. Fried & Fabulous Concessions has corndogs, and lemonade, Knights of Columbus Council 1555 of St. Mary’s parish offers hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, water and pop. Kindred Coffee Roasters serves hot and iced coffee. K’s Ultimate Vending sells nachos, pulled pork sandwiches, rib sandwiches, pizza puffs, hot dogs and corn dogs. Little Jimmy’s Italian Ice returns with his specialty. Hell’s Kitchen offer fresh squeezed lemonade and shaved ice.
For complete schedule, maps and more information, list http://westchicago.wpengine.com/city-eve…/west-chicago-blooming-fest
Have fun and enjoy Blooming Fest!
AROUND AND ABOUT
There is a special program for the entire family at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 16, 2018, in the cafetorium at Leman Middle School, 238 East Hazel Street. Award winning Mexican/American children’s author and illustrator, Duncan Tonatiuh will read his new book, “Danza.” It is the story of Amalia Hernandez, the dancer and founder of El Ballet Folklorico de Mexico. Also the District 33 Ballet Folklorico and Mariachi Los Rayos De Leman Middle School perform.
West Chicago City Museum Historiography program, a non-fiction book reading group, is at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, May 17, 2018, at the museum, 132 Main Street. Guests can bring a lunch; dessert and a beverage are provided. The book to be discussed is “Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West” by William Cronon. Reservations are not required for this free program. For further information call the Museum at (630) 231-3376 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Spring Orchestra Concert of West Chicago Community High School is at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, May 17, 2018, in Weyrauch Auditorium, 326 Joliet Street. Performing are the Chamber Orchestra, C-Choir, String Orchestra, Concert Orchestra, and Symphony Orchestra. Alexandra Wojciechowski is the director.
The Chamber Orchestra plays “Irish Legend” by Robert Kerr and Soon Hee Newbold. C-Choir performs “Solid Ground” by Break of Reality. String Orchestra plays “River Flows in You” by Yiruma, “Eine Kleine Natchmusik” by W.A. Mozart and “Mantras” by Richard Meyer. Concert Orchestra plays “Pirates Legend” by Soon Hee Newbold, “Gathering Storms” by Doug Spata and “American Reel” by Kirt Mosier. Symphony Orchestra performs “Hadyn Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major,” Schubert “Unfinished” and “Lyric Metal” by Brian Balmages. Combined Orchestra plays “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey.
As part of its Art of Relaxation series, the West Chicago Public Library District holds a Meditation workshop at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, May 17, 2018, in the main meeting room 118 West Washington Street. Conducting the workshop is Markus Schramm, CEO of an international company and long-time mediator. He discusses and demonstrates ways to replenish positive energy, let go of worry and connect with one’s spirit through meditation. To make a reservation, call the adult services department at (630) 231-1552, extension 4.
To heighten awareness and raise donations for the Law Enforcement Torch Run to benefit Special Olympics Illinois, West Chicago police officers participate in the 16th annual Dunkin’ Donuts “Cop on a Rooftop” event. It takes place from 5:00 a.m. to noon Friday, May 18, 2018, at three Dunkin’ Donuts businesses. Locations are 185 West North Avenue, 330 South Neltnor Boulevard, and 110 West Roosevelt Road. There is one police officer on the roof, one at the drive up and one inside. Persons making a donation to the Torch Run receive a free doughnut coupon. Persons donating at least $10 receive a Law Enforcement Torch Run travel mug and a coupon for a free medium coffee. Also on sale are Torch Run t-shirts and raffle tickets. The West Chicago Police Department hopes to raise at least $4,000. In honor of the Special Olympics athletes and police officers participating in the rooftop event, Dunkin’ Donuts donates $15,000 to the Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run.
The event even has a local touch this year. West Chicago Police Detective Robbi Peterson was selected to represent all law enforcement, statewide in the Dunkin’ Donuts Cop on the Roof media campaign. The video, which he made with Social Olympics athlete Becky can be seen https://www.facebook.com/DunkinDonutsUS/videos/1649937661781093/?hc_ref=ARQurJ1He-FVNGUi4lc8Rfp2pUMBTBj0kHeqb_JmarKo4e5MozmYc7eI2EHaHELcnCU. Posters are located at Dunkin’ Donut locations throughout the State.
Sandy Nash, Director of Development-Torch Run/Special Olympics, explained that Peterson was nominated by his local Leg Leader. There are different legs for the routes on the Law Enforcement Torch Run. “Robbi has been a longtime supporter of the LETR and Special Olympics. He continues to go above and beyond for our athletes and serves as a leader within his department. We are very lucky to have him as a spokesperson for the Dunkin’ Donuts Cop on a Rooftop event.”
Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit organization offering year-round training and competition in 19 sports for more than 21,300 athletes with intellectual disabilities and nearly 13,000 young athletes ages 2-7 with and without intellectual disabilities.
A Live Remote Broadcast by Scott McKay of 95.9 The River is from noon to 2:00 p.m. Friday, May 18, 2018, at Gallery 200. 103 West Washington Street. The public is invited to attend this pre-Blooming Fest event that also promotes America in Bloom. The River also is at Blooming Fest from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. Moody Radio is present from noon to 3:00 p.m. with kids craft and free giveaways
West Chicago Park District hosts a Seminole Sports Baseball and Softball Tournament Friday through Sunday, May 18 to 20, 2018, at Pioneer and Reed-Keppler Parks.
Artéculture, under the auspices of West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission, takes place from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Friday, May 18, and throughout the Blooming Fest activities from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturday, May 19, 2018, at Kindred Coffee, 148 West Washington Street. Artéculture features work of local artists and those in the Chicagoland area.
Although not in West Chicago, these two displays are of interest and meaningful to all. The Healing Field of Honor and the Replica of the Vietnam Wall Memorial is at the Warrenville Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8081, 3S371 Mignin Drive from Saturday, May 19, through Monday, May 28, 2018
WeGo Drama at West Chicago Community High School concludes its 2017-18 Season with the fourth Annual Plays-In-A-Day Festival at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Weyrauch Auditorium, 326 Joliet Street. The students create an original show full of wit and emotion all in 24 hours. The ticket price is an in-kind donation with tickets being sold at the door.
The cast and crew are Abby Carr, Kenneth Correa, Andres Espinoza, Megan Gee, Ricky Geiser, Emma Hart, Emily Heath, Sammy Incrocci, Sarah Lighthiser, Cassi Villa, Nora Zamora, Grecia Bahena, Ashley Baldner, Nathan Bradley, Andrew Brady and, Emily Carroso.
Others are Ryan Castiglia, Christina Champagne, Delaney Flynn, Alexia Goutanis, Megan Kordik, Noemi Lara, Evy McLean, Rudy Muñoz, Flora Thian Nei, Latanya Phillips, Jeri Rethford, and Neve Ryan, Hannah Bramos, David Brown, Abbie Lundblad, and Natalie Thompson. (www.merleburl.com)
St. Andrew Lutheran Church, 155 North Prince Crossing Road, holds a bilingual Pentecost Sunday worship service at 10:30 a.m. followed by a potluck lunch celebrating the various ministries and leaders. May 20, 2018. Also the youth group holds a car wash from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. It is a fundraiser for the group’s mission trip to Houston, Texas this summer.
As St. Michael’s United Church of Christ, 400 West Washington Street, celebrates Pentecost at its 9:30 a.m. worship service Sunday, May 20, 2018, it also recognizes Mental Health Awareness Month.
Station, the youth group at First United Methodist Church of West Chicago, 643 East Washington Street, holds a car wash after the Sunday morning worship service, May 20, 2018. The hours are from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. This is a fundraiser for JOY Camp.
Honors Night at West Chicago Community High School is at 7:00 p.m. Monday, May 21, 2018, in Weyrauch Auditorium, 326 Joliet Street.
Wayne/Winfield Area Youth/Family Services offers hour-long computer classes for senior citizens, 27W031 North Avenue. Not only do seniors learn basic skills, but also have the opportunity to socialize. The fee is $2. Reservations are required and may be made by calling (630) 231-7166. Beginner classes are at 1:00 p.m. Tuesdays. “Shopping on Amazon.com” class is at 3:00 p.m. May 22, 2018. There will be no classes during the summer months; they resume during the week of August 20.
West Chicago Public Library District holds several two-hour computer classes in the small conference room, 118 West Washington Street. To register, call the adult services department at (630) 231-1552, extension 4.
“How to Use the Internet” class is at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 22, 2018. The subjects covered are basic internet terminology, how to navigate a browser, locate a website, identify common domains, and stay safe while searching.
The class, “Intro to Downloadable Collections,” is at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 23, 2018. Not only are the items on shelves part of the library’s collection, but also access to electronic collections of books, audiobooks, magazines, and music. This class focuses on magazines and musicians demonstrating how to access the collections and download materials to the computer, tablet, or smartphone. Attendees should bring their own device or use one of the library’s laptops.
The Leman Middle School Choral Concert is at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 22, 2018, in the cafetorium, 238 East Hazel Street. Alexia Garcia is the choir director.
The West Chicago Elementary School District 33 Spring Band Concert is Wednesday, May 23, 2018, in the cafetorium at Leman Middle School, 238 East Hazel Street. Brad Rathe is the LMS band director. John Gelasi is the beginner band director.
The West Chicago Elementary School District 33 Spring Orchestra Concert is at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, May 24, 2018, in the cafetorium at Leman Middle School, 238 East Hazel Street. CODA violin students perform the Preconcert music. Beginning the concert is the LMS String Ensemble with “The Code” by Alan Lee Silva. The Beginning Orchestra performs “Impulse” by Brian Balmages and a perennial favorite for beginning strings, “French Folk Song.” Intermediate Orchestra performs “Gap of Dunloe,” an original composition by Chris Thomas inspired by his travels in Ireland, and an arrangement of Carl Maria von Weber’s “Hunters’ Chorus”. LMS Concert Orchestra begins their portion of the concert with a jazz tune called “Groovin’ for the First Time,” which features two improvised student solos, piano, and drum set. They also perform “Medieval Dance,” an arrangement of a melody from 1200 by Thibaut de Blason, and “Classic Bits and Pieces,” a medley of classical tunes from the Baroque and Romantic eras. The LMS Symphony Orchestra concludes the concert with “Ashokan Farewell,,” by Jay Ungar followed by an arrangement of Bizet’s Farandole, and an exciting modern work for string orchestra and percussion ensemble called “Armory”. Cassie Ruiz directs the elementary orchestras. LMS director is Janet Sikma.
The Summer Camp of Wayne/Winfield Area Youth/Family Services runs from Tuesday, May 29, through Friday, August 17, 2018. Hours are from 10:00 to 4:00 p.m. with extended hours from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for working parents. The camp is for youth in grade school and middle school, ages 6-13. Full camp cost is $70 a week, and an additional $40 for extended hours with sliding-scale scholarships available based on annual household income and family size. Both prices include breakfast and lunch via a partnership with Northern Illinois Bank. A professional staff of counselors will lead camp using research-based skill building activities in a group format. Camp programming includes nutrition, financial literacy, job skills and career exploration. Registration is now open, Call WAYS at (640) 231-3376 for more information or to register.
American Legion Post 300 Auxiliary is assembling 15 “Christmas in July” gift bags for veterans at West Chicago Terrace. Donations needed are toiletries, such as lotions, shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste; socks, preferably diabetic; paperback books, large print puzzle books, magazines; grooming items such as nail clippers, disposable razors, combs and lip gloss; Individual packages of tissues, sunscreen and bug spray; Ziplock style bags, snack and sandwich size; individually wrapped snacks such as puddings, fruit cups, cookies, crackers, raisins, granola bars, snack size chips and pretzels; and deck of cards. Persons can drop off the donation in the bar at the Legion, 123 Main Street, use rear entrance. Bar hours are 3:00 p.m. Tuesdays, 5:00 p.m. Wednesdays, 3:00 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 2:00 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The last day for donations is Friday, June 8, 2018.
Deepest sympathy is expressed to the family of Joe Kramer, who passed away Wednesday, May 9, 2018.
Sincere sympathy is expressed to the family of Arlene Rita Smothers, who at the age of 79 passed away Tuesday, May 9, 2018.
Deepest sympathy is expressed to the family of Sonya (Staiger) Stebbins, who at the age of 52 passed away Wednesday, May 2, 2018.
For Prom 2018 at West Chicago Community High School, the King was Jay Ratphimpha and the Queen was Stefany Morales. Other members of the court were Nora Bell, Cynthia Flores, Alexes Garcia and Cielo Romero. Court members also were Jesus Dominguez, Rudy Munoz, Gavin O’Keefe and Nick Wasserstorm. (www.merleburl.com)
Kindred Coffee, 148 West Washington Street, is now serving several types of sandwiches and curried chicken salad starting at 11:00 a.m. until closing. Sunshine also is on the menu for a summertime beverage. This is a combination of Turmeric Ginger Chai from @rishitea and Topo Chico, an ecstatically effervescent mineral water.
Power Boxing & Fitness, 901 Atlantic Drive, was featured in a short film, “Blooming Lion.
Winning artists in the 2018 City Banner Competition with the theme of “Pop Art” are Joe Allard, Lew Achenbach, Elise Brandt, Karolina Brandt, Anne Frantzen, Uwe Gsedl, Peter Hagerty, Carolyn Hansen, Judith Horsley and Alexis Long. Others are Buddy Plumlee, Sarah Plumlee, Jennifer Ralph, Aldo Risolvo, Giuseppe Risolvo, Starla Snead, Natalia Toreeva, Steve Treudt, Joan Trushin and Phil Weibler.
The independent juror was international artist Bodo Gsedl, a resident of West Chicago’s Sister City Taufkirchen (Vils), Germany. He is a portrait artist, working with pencil, charcoal and pastels, plus oils, watercolors and mixed media. Gsedl is a member of the Federal Organization of Professional Artists.
The banner competition is in its 11th year. The banners are displayed on light poles in the downtown area from May through the end of August. Persons can vote for their favorite banner for the People’s Choice Award. Ballots are available at Gallery 22, 103 West Washington Street; West Chicago Public Library, 118 West Washington Street; and West Chicago City Museum 132 Main Street.
The video class at Wheaton Academy had three videos place in the top 10 for a statewide Radon Video Contest hosted by the American Lung Association.
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