June 10th will feature a street fair and carnival for families
There is no better way to kick-off your summer than at Hephzipaloozah, a free, communitywide celebration of children and families on June 10, from 3 to 9 p.m., in Mills Park and on South Marion Street in Oak Park’s Pleasant District. And, while the celebration will feature a street fair on Marion Street with live music every hour as well as a carnival for families in the park at Mills Park, Hephzipaloozah is also a celebration of Mary Anne Brown who will retire in June after more than 40 years as executive director of Hephzibah Children’s Association.
Mary Anne will be honored at a special commemoration at 6 p.m, on the main stage, and friends, community members, former residents and staff are invited to honor Mary Anne and wish her well in her retirement. Under Mary Anne’s leadership, Hephzibah grew from a day care center with an annual budget of $100,000, to a nationally recognized child welfare agency with a full complement of interrelated services and an annual budget exceeding $9 million.
“Mary Anne has spent 40 years passionately fighting for children and expanding Hephzibah’s offerings to serve an increasing number of children and families and we are grateful for her years of dedicated and tireless leadership,” says Tom Yates, president of Hephzibah’s Board of Directors. “She has made Hephzibah a model of how to care for children in an effective and caring manner. We will miss her spirit and enthusiasm.”
There is so much to enjoy before and after the ceremony honoring Mary Anne. From 3 to 6 p.m., you can enjoy the carnival in the park at Mills Park, with games, activities, pony rides and bounce houses. Plus, PBS Kid’s Nature Cat and characters from Happy Kids Chicago will join the fun. On the porch of Pleasant Home, Ebert Studios will take family and friends groups portraits which will be available free of charge on the Ebert Studios Facebook page. Event attendees will have an opportunity to donate to Hephzibah and in return receive a Portrait Certificate to be used with a future session at Ebert Fine Art Portraiture. Serenitea will offer tea service for a fee in the beautiful setting of Pleasant Home.
Concurrently, from 3-9 p.m. the street fair on Marion Street in the Pleasant District will feature a concert, live music, food, beverages and beer truck. Taking the stage at 3 p.m. will be a performance by the kids from Hephzibah Home and the Day Care Program. At 4 p.m., the Laurie J. jazz quartet will perform followed at 5 p.m. by School of Rock. The special tribute and presentation to Mary Anne Brown will take place at 6 p.m. Rounding out the day at 7:30 p.m. the musical group Classical Blast will take the stage performing their unique melding of classical into rock music hits. Food, beer and other beverages will be available for purchase from local vendors.
Hephzipaloozah sponsors include the Pleasant Business District, Pleasant Home Foundation, Ebert Studios, Vantage Oak Park, the Carleton Hotel and Pillar Financial Advisors. Local vendors supporting Hephzipaloozah include Carnivore, Poor Phil’s, Serenitea, and Warrior Catering, a program of Opportunity Knocks. The members of the Hephzipaloozah Event Committee are Dennis Murphy, Poor Phil’s; Paul Beckwith, The Sachem Company; Heidi Ruehle-May, Pleasant Home Foundation; and Jeff Ebert, Ebert Studios. For information about Hephzibah Children’s Association and the free Hephzipaloozah community event, go to hephzibahhome.org. The event will be held rain or shine.