Des Plaines chips in more money for special events

Special events in Des Plaines will get a pay raise this year.

Aldermen this week gave the OK for the commission to spend an additional $20,000, for a total of $30,000 this year.

The commission hosts three major events every year: the Taste of Des Plaines and the Fourth of July and New Year's Eve celebrations.

One thing the extra money will help cover is the commission's plan to spend $3,000 to hire Thillens Inc. to handle beer sales at the Taste of Des Plaines.

Eighth Ward Alderman Rosemary Argus voted against the increase, saying she heard from residents who don't want public dollars spent on special events.

Third Ward Alderman Laura Murphy said she believes the special events serve an important purpose in Des Plaines civic life.

"I think it is our responsibility to instill a sense of community," Murphy said.

Linda Forman, who heads the commission, said that she works hard to broker deals to save the city money.

She negotiates with bands signed up for Taste of Des Plaines and works to get their fees down.

Mayor Tony Arredia invited any resident upset over the city's spending on special events to contact him.

"Anyone who would like to debate this, call me," he said.

Nature Shack meets Earth Day: On April 20, the Elk Grove Park District will host a combined celebration for the grand opening of the Olmstead Nature Shack and Earth Day.

From 1-4 p.m., participants are invited to Olmstead Park to learn about the benefits of going green, recycling a variety of household items, and enjoy many Earth-friendly entertainers.

Animal demonstrations and kid-friendly workshops will turn this event into a family affair.

At 1 p.m., there is a birdhouse building workshop presented by The Home Depot.

An environmentally friendly alternative to lawn care will be demonstrated at 2 p.m.

Following that at 3 p.m., there is a beekeeper presentation.

There is no cost to participate. Bring cell phones, gym shoes, plastic bags, and electronics to recycle.

Olmstead Park is at 920 Cypress Lane just off of JF Kennedy Boulevard in Elk Grove Village.

For more information about the event and a full list of accepted recyclable items, call the Elk Grove Park District at (847) 437-9494 or visit the Web at

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