The Antioch Parks and Recreation Department has been working hard, bringing several exciting changes and additions for the warmer seasons ahead. Inspired by the words of William H. “Holly” Whyte, journalist and expert who helped identify the elements that create vibrant public spaces, “What attracts people most, would appear to be other people,” it’s important to provide our community with a summer toolkit that excites and brings us together—full of tradition, fun, learning and safety, too.
Springtime activities will get an eggs-citing update this April, with the popular Annual Easter Egg Hunt being offered FREE for participants (ages 1 to 9). The event, along with its traditional parade, will be held Saturday, April 11, with the youngest age group beginning egg hunting at 11 a.m. The event brings together toddler and school-aged children for a chance to grab 10 candy-filled eggs, as fast as they can, with special prize eggs, too. Families come along for the activity (with parents on the sidelines for older age groups), with photo-taking with the Easter Bunny available. “The kids have smiles on their faces the entire time. It’s so much fun to watch,” said Director of Parks and Recreation Lauren Kabrick. The event also has a new location at the Antioch Bandshell (Skidmore Drive).
Children (ages 10 to 15) are invited to participate in the traditional Flashlight Egg Hunt on the evening of Thursday, April 9, at Centennial Park (Anita Avenue). This is a fee-based program and registration is required (available online or in-person at the Parks and Rec office on Holbek Drive).
Outdoors, fresh and new
There will be a NEW type of market in town this year with fresh produce, meats, breads, flowers, plants, jewelry, textiles, local artists and more. The Antioch Street Market, in the bandshell area on Skidmore Drive, will be held the last Sunday of each month (June 28, July 26, August 30, September 27) from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The market will serve to cater to the tastes, interests and mix of products seen at the former in-town farmer’s market which concluded last summer. Research suggests advantages of creating a public space such as this can bring transformative benefits to a community1. “This type of forum—a public market—has the possibility to bring together diverse people, provide economic opportunity, and create an active and creative public space,” added Community Development Director Michael Garrigan. The street market comes on the heels of an effort to reinvigorate the traditional farmer’s market, offering something for everyone with an environment and style similar to a family outing. Opportunities to try food and beverages by local establishments, as well as performances hosted by local dancers, gymnasts, musicians, and magicians, will round out the experience-making. Those interested in participating as a vendor, should contact Special Event Coordinator Toni Galster, 847-395-2160 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Details for upcoming programs and special events can also be found at antioch.il.gov under the pull-down “Parks & Rec/Aqua Center.”
Keep a look out for the stars and more
This summer, be on the lookout for Camping under the Stars in July, a Back-to-School Bash (and school-supply fundraiser) and Roaring 20s Outdoor Dinner Dance in August, and the first Touch-a-Truck event in September. The possibilities for family time, date night, and fun are endless.
Get energized at Antioch Aqua Center
Discover more energizing changes this summer at the Antioch Aqua Center (on Main Street) with Wednesday Evening Family Swim, monthly Flick-N-Float events, and a private parent-tot and lap-swim hour exclusively for season passholders weekday mornings from 9 to 10 a.m. Swim lessons will also take place in the evenings, far-removed from the chilly morning air. Season passes are available now. Visit online at antioch.il.gov for details.
Priority one: safety
Safety is top priority at the Antioch Aqua Center. The team, from lifeguards, swim instructors, customer service attendants, to managers, have the goal of delivering guests the best summer experience, and creating a feeling of “home,” whether for a drop-in visit, a morning lap swim, or an after-hours rental. “We want everyone to feel like family, and we look forward to providing a clean, safe, and enjoyable experience at every visit. We took a hard look at what we could do to enhance the experience for all guests,” said Kabrick. Changes were made to pool operations including opening to the public earlier, moving swim lessons to the evening, and programming the pool for family swim and special events to enhance usability for all. With safety in mind, new policies and procedures for communicating with parents and guardians (with new wristband policy), have been put in place. Details are outlined in the special box at left.