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Oak Forest Fleadh Returns Saturday, March 8

Oak Forest's Irish festival will again paint Cicero Avenue green.

Oak Forest Fleadh Returns Saturday, March 8

The Oak Forest-Crestwood Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Oak Forest will host the 5th Annual Oak Forest Fleadh (pronounced “flah”) on Saturday, March 8 on Cicero Avenue between 151st and 159th streets.  The Fleadh—Gaelic for “festival”—includes the CNB Oak Forest Fleadh 5K, an open streets event, a family parade, and a pub and restaurant open house. 

The city will close Cicero Avenue from 151st to 159th streets at 8 a.m. to prepare for the CNB Oak Forest Fleadh 5K at 8:30 a.m.  The race starts and finishes at 159th and Cicero Avenue and takes runners through the city’s 3rd Ward.  Approximately 500 runners are expected to run the 3.1 mile course.  Following the race, participants will enjoy refreshments and sponsor services in the Arbor Park commuter lot at 159th Street and Oak Avenue (across from the Metra train station). The awards ceremony for all age categories will begin promptly at 9:30 a.m.  To register for the race, visit www.oak-forest.org.

After the 5K, children and adults can enjoy three new activities on Cicero Avenue: a Zumba class, a bike rodeo and The Bus of Fun.  Adults of all fitness abilities can Zumba with Allstate Agent Susan Semanate at 15524 S. Cicero Avenue. Giveaways and prizes will be distributed during the class.  Children ages 7 to 12 can enjoy the Active Transportation Alliance’s (ATA) bike rodeo, which will be set up in front of the Waverly Avenue commuter parking lot just north of the viaduct on Cicero Avenue. Bikes and helmets are required to participate in the obstacle course. The ATA, which is Chicagoland’s voice for better biking, walking and transit will be distributing information about the season’s bicycle rides and races as well as distributing Cliff bars. And, finally, kids of all ages can enjoy games and entertainment aboard The Bus of Fun at 151st and Cicero Avenue. All open streets events are free and do not require registration. 

The activities on Cicero Avenue will conclude at approximately 10:45 a.m. in order to prepare for the family parade, which steps off at 157th Street at 11 a.m. The parade, which heads north to 151st Street, will include local businesses, community and civic groups, families, and more.  Lifetime Chamber Directors Shirley Cozzo and Laverne Schultz will serve as the parade’s grand marshals in honor of the Chamber of Commerce’s 50th Anniversary. Parade registration forms are due on Wednesday, February 26 and are available at www.oak-forest.org

The city once again will host a pub and restaurant open house from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m.  Free shuttle buses will make continuous stops from 5 p.m. until midnight at participating pubs and restaurants, including Blarney Stone Pub, Oak Forest Bowl, Marcotte’s Bar and Grill, Gaelic Park, Mrs. O’Brien’s Pub, Beggar’s Pizza, Tap’s Pub, Cindy’s Pub, Nite Games, and Oliver’s Bar and Grill.  MillerCoors will be distributing taxi coupons to pub and restaurant open house venues in an effort to help patrons drink responsibly and arrive home safely. 

Throughout the event, alcohol will only be permitted inside designated areas such as beer tents, beer gardens, pubs, and restaurants.  The city's public intoxication and open containers ordinances will be strictly enforced.   

Free parking will be available all day and night in the Arbor Commuter Lot at the southwest corner of 159th Street and Oak Avenue – across from the Metra train station.

Cicero Avenue, from 151st to 159th streets, will be closed from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.  The city's Emergency Management Agency will allow local traffic to get through the adjacent neighborhoods between 147th Street and 151st Street.  It will redirect non-local traffic down 147th Street to Pulaski Road. 

For more information or to volunteer, please call 708-687-4600, e-mail oakforestfleadh@oak-forest.org, visit www.oak-forest.org, or find us at www.facebook.com/cityofoakforest.  

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