Orland Park To Host Two Day Independence Spectacular

Orland Park To Host Two Day Independence Spectacular
Posted on 06/18/2009

The Village of Orland Park has planned two action packed days saluting America's birthday. The village's Recreation Department oversees the community's festivities each year, offering a wealth of activities to celebrate Independence Day.

"Independence Day celebrations in Orland Park go back decades," said Orland Park Village Trustee Brad O'Halloran, chair of the village's Recreation and Parks Committee. "Longtime residents may remember when the firemen would set up their display near 151st Street and 94th Avenue, before the malls were built. The firemen would walk along the street, collecting donations from the audience to help pay for the display," he added.

"In the 1980s, the village had manual fireworks at the John Humphrey Complex with people showing up at 8:30 p.m. to see the fireworks and then going home. Now, families plan their July 4th parties around the village's two day Independence Spectacular," said Orland Park Recreation Supervisor Stephanie Simpson, who is overseeing the event for the village.

Orland Park's Independence Spectacular is held at Centennial Park, 15600 West (100th ) Avenue.

The celebration begins at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, July 3rd with kids' rides. Families who pre-registered for overnight tent camping may begin checking in at 5:00 p.m. The Pet Parade kicks off at 5:30 p.m., followed by the 6:30 p.m. Bike Parade, both of which are free but require pre-registration at one of the village's recreation facilities.

The main stage will feature "OP Extravanganza" beginning at 7:00 p.m. with the Liberty Family Fun Run/Walk also at 7:00 p.m. An evening swim at the Centennial Park Aquatic Center will be available from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. and normal admission fees apply. "An American Tale" is the featured fare at 9:15 p.m. for Movie on the Lawn, followed by "Field of Dreams" beginning at 11:00 p.m.

Guns & Hoses Softball Game
A longstanding friendly feud will continue on Friday, July 3rd when representatives from the Orland Fire Protection District defend their 2008 victory against their counterparts from the Orland Park Police Department. The annual Guns and Hoses Softball Game will begin at 7:00 p.m.

"We brought this event back a few years ago, having heard about the games between fire and police from years past," said Orland Park Athletic Supervisor Kurt Heinlen who oversees the annual contest.

"We've had a great response from both the fire district and the police department and everyone has a great time at the game," he added.

"We have a really good working relationship with the Police Department and the annual softball game gives us a chance to come together for some fun during the July 4th holiday," said Orland Firefighter/Paramedic Tom Rafferty who plays in the game each year.

Sleeping At Centennial
Overnight tent camping will again be allowed on the ballfields at Centennial Park with pre-registration required. Restrictions apply and complete rules are available at the Loebe Recreation Center. Campground check-in begins at 5:00 p.m.

Pancakes In The Park
Saturday, July 4th begins with an All You Can Eat Pancake Breakfast from 8:00 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. Sponsored by Big Jim's Catering, the pancake breakfast is $3 for children and $5 for adults. Pre-registration is encouraged for this event that includes a freshly made pancake breakfast with sausage, coffee and orange juice. A limited number of tickets will be available the day of the event.

Activities continue throughout the day at Centennial Park with kids' rides opening at noon and remaining open until 8:30 p.m., followed by musical entertainment at 7:00 p.m. The Presentation of Colors by Orland Park VFW Post #2604 will begin at 9:15 p.m., followed by fireworks in the southwest sky.

"The village's July 4th celebration has become a family tradition for families throughout the area," O'Halloran added. "We invite everyone to join us for Orland Park's salute to America's birthday," he added.

Further information about the Village of Orland Park's two-day Independence Spectacular is available by calling the Orland Park Recreation and Parks Department at 708/403-PARK or 708/645-PLAY.