Village's Centennial Park Marks 20th Season of Orland Park Fun

Village's Centennial Park Marks 20th Season of Orland Park Fun
Posted on 06/17/2011

The Village of Orland Park's Centennial Park debuted during the village's 100th year as a municipality in the State of Illinois with the grand opening celebration being held July 5, 1992.

When the park at 15600 West Avenue opened, it included the zero depth pool at the Centennial Park Aquatic Center that opened in May, 1992, baseball and soccer fields, the Kevin Hertz Handicapped Accessible Playground and permanent concession and restroom facilities that opened in July, 1992.

"Centennial Park has certainly evolved over the last twenty years," said Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin. "We started planning it during my first term as a village trustee in the early 1980s, knowing that we wanted a premier outdoor recreational facility for the entire community," the mayor recalled.

In 1999, skating phenom Tony Hawk participated in the grand opening of Centennial's Grinding Edge Skate Park. Fishing great Babe Winkelman was the guest of honor for the 2000 debut of Lake Sedgwick, named for the community's first train depot.

"I was on the Recreation and Parks Advisory Board when Centennial was being planned in the 1980s," said Trustee Pat Gira, chair of the village's Recreation, Parks and Environmental Initiatives Committee. "Before Centennial opened, baseball games were played at different parks all over town. For the last twenty years, it's been nice to have a centralized location for many of the games," Gira said.

Now the center of year round outdoor recreation in Orland Park, the 192-acre facility also includes the Winter Wonderland Outdoor Skating Rink, warming house, sledding hill, council ring, scenic gazebos and miles of walking paths.

"We added ice skating, sledding, cross country skiing and the warming house in 2003, installing the permanent ice rink the following year," McLaughlin said. "We've had a great response to our winter programs and Centennial is now fully utilized all year round," he added.

Centennial Park's twentieth anniversary season brings yet another addition to the park's offerings, paddle boats and kayaks available for rental on Lake Sedgwick.

"The village has allowed jon boats on the lake since it opened in 2000," McLaughlin said. "The paddle boats and kayaks are a nice addition, giving people another way to enjoy the scenery of Centennial Park," he added.

Boats may be reserved and rented at the pool entrance during pool weekend hours. Renters take their paid receipts to the boat area where the on-duty attendant will issue personal flotation devices and review safety rules and guidelines. Details, rules and rates are available in the Stay & Play Club area of the village's website, www.orland-park.il.us.

Orland Park's Centennial Park Aquatic Center began its twentieth season on Saturday, May 28th. The outdoor facility now includes a lazy river, body flume slide, drop slide, tube slides, platform jump, zero depth pool with a kiddie structure and lap lanes.

"The Recreation and Parks Departments are very excited with the pool beginning its twentieth year," said Trustee Pat Gira, chair of the village's Recreation, Parks and Environmental Initiatives Committee. "They've been getting ready for swimming season for the last several months, getting the facility ready, bringing staff on board, scheduling swim lessons and planning special events for throughout the summer," she said.

Along with open swim, the pool offers swim lessons, water exercise classes, splash parties, pavilion rentals, late night swims and Family Fun Events. A complete schedule appears in the Orland Park Recreation Department's Spring/Summer Program Guide and in the recreation area of the village's website at www.orland-park.il.us.

"Orland Park's Centennial Park is a beautiful facility of which everyone can be very proud," McLaughlin said, adding, "It offers outdoor fun for all ages throughout the year. We invite everyone to make it their evening walk destination. You can see what's happening at the pool, take in a little league game, grab a snack at the concession stand, watch the boats on the lake and relax, right here in your own backyard."