Tuesday, September 19, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || Updated: 4:31 p.m.
Featured image: Cooks from Poor Dog, out of Alsip, make al pastor and steak tacos on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, during Maywood Fest in Maywood, Ill. | Alexa Rogals
The village of Maywood held its annual Maywood Family Fest over the weekend for the second consecutive year since going on hiatus for several years and resident Bruce Leeve was going to see as much of it as he could.
“I came out for the food, the parade and the music,” Leeve said on Saturday morning while waiting to catch a glimpse of the procession of vehicles — including a fire engine, ice truck and a fleet of at least six Corvettes, two of which contained Maywood Mayor Edwenna Perkins and Maywood Clerk Viola Mims.
Kylia Wiley, 11, of Maywood, gets her face painted on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, during Maywood Fest in Maywood, Ill. | Alexa Rogals
“The ride was great,” Mims said enthusiastically after exiting the vehicle at the parade’s terminus, behind the Maywood Police Station, 125 S. 5th Ave.
“We’re very excited about the Fest, it brings together the community, the business owners and the kids together. It’s a nice event for them,” she said.
Maywood Village Manager Willie Norfleet said on Saturday that the Fest “binds community more than anything else.
Latoya Call, owner of Crown Desserts, slices up strawberry crumble cake on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, during Maywood Fest in Maywood, Ill. | Alexa Rogals
“We’re going to have a festival with families,” he said. “Everything has gone pretty well so far and it will be nice and warm the rest of the weekend. This is great.”
Maywood resident Maria Mendez stood along Fifth Avenue, not far from her house, while she waited to see her son, a member of the Proviso East Marching Band, walk rhythmically by.
“I’ve been here for about 20 minutes,” she said. “It’s fun. It was fun last year.”
Vinny Fiduccia, of Lake Zurich, orders food on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, during Maywood Fest in Maywood, Ill.
Some residents who were interviewed, however, couldn’t help but comparing this year’s festivities to the Maywood Fests of the past — once relatively grand spectacles, replete with multiple music stages, heavy foot traffic and blocked-off streets.
“I’ve been out here for 17 years and it’s not as much as before,” said Angela Hall, while she waited along Fifth Avenue for the parade.
“They used to come in front of my house and it would be a big old parade, about a mile long and then it got to the point where it didn’t show up at all,” she said. “It’s good to see them this year.”
Hall said that she hopes the Fest’s renaissance becomes a catalyst for more events of its kind in the village.
Attendees watch a movie during the Under the Stars Family Movie Night on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, during Maywood Fest in Maywood, Ill.
Longtime Maywood resident Damien Harvey also couldn’t help but reminisce about the old fests, which were big to-dos. This year, however, he’s making his own mark with Three Dudes and a Chick — a Maywood-based catering company founded by his sister, Sukki Harvey, that specializes in jerk chicken, rib tips and other grilled fare.
Harvey was among roughly a dozen food and beverage vendors out in the park during the Fest, which he said is typically a boon to his bottom line.
Maywood Mayor Edwenna Perkins said that the Fest is a potent symbol, particularly for impressionable young people.
“If we impress on our young people what it means to be part of a parade and to support a parade, we will have moved forward and that’s our education,” Perkins said on Saturday. VFP
Enjoy more photos
Members of the Proviso East Marching Band during the Maywood Family Fest parade on Saturday. | Michael Romain/VFP
Mascots walk in the Maywood Family Fest parade on Saturday. | Michael Romain/VFP
Damien Harvey, of the Maywood-based Three Dudes and a Chick, works the grill in preparation for Saturday’s Maywood Fest. | Michael Romain/VFP
Members of Proviso Math and Science Academy’s robotics club interact with young people during Saturday’s Maywood Family Fest. | Michael Romain/VFP
A fleet of Corvettes, which paraded for free on Saturday, from the Chicago Cross-Roads Corvette Club, which is the official car club of the Bud Biliken Day Parade. | Michael Romain/VFP
Members of the Proviso Township Bills during Saturday’s Maywood Family Fest parade. | Michael Romain/VFP