Community, Live Music, Local, Main Street Nights, Park Forest

Main Street Nights Returns June 8

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Music and fun return to Park Forest with Main Street Nights. A full line-up of events will entertain on Wednesday evenings from June 8 through August 3 — except the week of July 4 — on the Park Forest Village Green at the corner of Cunningham and Main Streets.

Resident Appreciation Night kicks off the series on June 8 with the Park Forest village staff and elected officials cooking and serving food at 6 p.m. Music begins at 6:30 p.m. with Eclectic Soulz featuring local musicians playing a variety of music including jazz, rock, pop, and soul.

knife cutting bratwirst next to singing group
Resident Appreciation Night Kicks Off Main Street Nights 2022 (VOPF Image)

At 7:30 p.m., Live Band Karaoke takes the stage. Participants can choose from four pages of songs and take the stage to perform in front of a live band. Lyric sheets are provided for all songs on the playlist.

According to Chuck Sabey, Cultural Arts Supervisor at Freedom Hall, each week also features an attraction from Four Seasons Amusements ranging from ziplines, bungee jumping, rock climbing, and super slides. Adults and children are welcome to participate in these free fun activities.

Chuck Sabey, Main Street Nights, MSN
Chuck Sabey addresses a crowd gathered for a past Main Street Nights. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Vendors will be on hand to offer a variety of food and drink options. Among the vendors committed this year are Flamin Hotties Chili and All-Out Smoke Pit, both Park Forest Farmers Market participants.

Rest room facilities are available nearby at the Village Hall. While no special COVID precautions are currently required, patrons are welcome to mask and social distance for their comfort. Should the COVID status change, Main Street Nights will follow any state guidance issued.

Each evening begins with an opening act at 6:30 p.m., often geared toward the younger crowd with audience participation, followed by the main stage act at 7:30 p.m.

Below is a recap of the rest of this summer’s line-up. More details are found on the Village of Park Forest website.

Wednesday, June 15

6:30 pm: Ayrie King III, better known as Mr. Taps, demonstrates a range of styles of tap dancing from Fred Astaire to Ann Miller.

7:30 pm: Cadillac Groove takes the stage with fun set of Rock, R&B, Funk, and Soul. Audience members will find themselves dancing and singing along with these familiar songs.

Wednesday, June 22

6:30 pm: Mike Mauthe brings his multiple talents of juggling, magic, unicycle riding, fire-eating, and stilt-walking to entertain the entire family.

7:30 pm: Isaiah Sharkey, a native Chicagoan, has collaborated with numerous award-winning artists and recorded two of his own albums, “Love Life Live” and “Love is the Key: The Cancerian Theme.” His uses his wide background in rock, gospel, jazz, and funk to create an original sound with a dose of soul.

The Blooze Brothers at Main Street Nights
The Blooze Brothers at Main Street Nights

Wednesday, June 29

6:30 pm: Los Hermanos Escamilla: Prepare to be amazed by the rope tricks of this group which became the best “Floreadores” (rope trick artists) in Mexico City.

7:30 pm: The Blooze Brothers, featuring the music from John Belushi’s and Dan Aykroyd’s original Blues Brothers band as well as soul, R&B, and Motown, return to Main Street Nights. Always a highlight of the season, this high energy band will have the Village Green rocking.

Wednesday, July 13

6:30 pm: Blending traditional martial arts with gymnastics and acrobatics, Sideswipe will display an amazing demonstration of talent, strength, and stamina.

7:30 pm: An Evening with the The Lotus Kings: An All-Star Tribute to Santana will present many of Santana’s greatest hits such as “Black Magic Woman” and “Oye Como Va.” Featuring eight Chicago-area musicians, The Lotus Kings return to the stage again this year following a stellar performance at last year’s Main Street Nights.

Steven Kikoen of The Lotus Kings
Steven Kikoen and The Lotus Kings: An All-Star Tribute To Santana headline Main Street Nights Wednesday. (Photo: The Lotus Kings)

Wednesday, July 20

6:30 pm: The Spotlight on Southland Arts highlights the diversity and talent of the region’s artists and musicians.

7:30 pm: The Southland Jazz Ensemble with Ava Logan features big band music from some of the Southland’s finest musicians.

Wednesday, July 27

6:30 pm: Bassel & The Supernaturals tells the story of first generation Syrian American Bassel Almadani through music and lyrics about love, loss, and the war in Syria. The Chicago-based band has appeared throughout the country in such venues as South by Southwest, the Kennedy Center, and Millennium Park.

Dusk: Bring the whole family to see the blockbuster Disney move, Encanto (rated PG), with original songs by Lin Manuel Miranda. Follow 15-year-old Mirabel as she struggles to find her place in her magical family in Colombia. And remember, “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.”

Wednesday, August 3

Unity Day returns with music, food, police emergency vehicle exhibits, raffles, and more.

6:30 pm: Spotlight on Park Forest features local talent, and Southland opportunities.

7:30 pm: Chicago born vocalist Fredi Taylor along with the Nu Source Band will bring the Main Street Nights season to close, offering classic and contemporary R&B hits spanning the generations.