There was dancing, bingo, prizes and much more during last weekend’s Maywood Family Fest. | Shanel Romain/VFP
Wednesday, September 21, 2016 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
Maywood Village Manager Willie Norfleet, Jr. stood in Maywood Veterans Park on last Sunday, basking in the Gospel sounds of the group Chris & The Network. The choir was among at least seven lineups that took the stage during the last day of the Maywood Family Fest, which took place over three days last week from Sept. 16 through Sept. 18.
“We spent around $20,000 on this event and I’m assuming we may be slightly over that amount, but the exchange was well worth it,” Norfleet said.
There were pony rides, dozens of musical acts spanning numerous genres — from Jazz to Hip-Hop to Latin — food and drinks (including jerk pizza, fresh lemonade and gourmet popcorn) from local vendors and wares from local entrepreneurs like Maywood-based catering company Three Dudes and a Chick (whose owners said the fest was their first public catering event since they started their business) and S’tash Access.
District 89 board member Regina Rivers manned S’tash’s pitched tent, where stylish satchels, sunglasses and a silver mermaid necklace were on display. Rivers the S’tash is the brainchild of her daughter and granddaughter, Yvonne and Adrianna, the latter of whom studied fashion, design and marketing.
“She was born and raised in Maywood and has always been in involved in events that are happening in Maywood,” Rivers said of her daughter.
The fest was also an opportunity for Maywood native Tatym Cole, 14, one half of the duo The Future, to showcase her talents.
“We’re basically two talented kids trying to make it somewhere and change the world,” Cole said as she and her performing partner Keon Logan, 16, prepared to take the stage.
“If anybody is going to make a change it might as well be us,” Cole said, echoing the name of their popular song “We Need Change.” One YouTube video of the song that was uploaded about a month ago has already garnered more than 6,500 views.
“They only make inspirational music and the song they’ve got out right now is epic,” said their manager Liana Grays.
An epic moment during the three-day event was the honoring of the late Eugene “Gene” Moore, the former Cook County Recorder of Deeds, the 7th District’s first black state representative and former Proviso Township trustee. Moore died in June from prostate cancer.
“Gene Moore loved Maywood and he loved Proviso East High School,” said Maywood Mayor Edwenna Perkins during the ceremony. “He didn’t miss any of the games. He traveled on the highway to the games … If we could get that kind of commitment to our town, we could move forward.”
Sue Henry, Moore’s cousin, former office manager and longtime friend, recalled the late politician’s generosity.
“We were always involved with trying to help the community,” Henry said. “Gene would have me help some of everybody, no matter where they lived. He was always trying to do for his fellow man. If someone came up and asked him for $20 and he didn’t have it, he’d say, ‘Sue give me $20.'”
Maywood trustee Isiah Brandon said that he and a group of supporters have started the process of naming the 1300-1400 blocks of South 11th Avenue, where Moore was a longtime homeowner, after the Maywood power player.
“We’ve had no incidents, just a lot of good conversation, people chatting and enjoying themselves,” said Norfleet. “This is exactly what the title says, ‘Maywood Family Fest.’”
In cased you miss it, take a look at some video footage of the three-day event that participants produced here. VFP
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