Category Archives: Seasonal

Winter Warming Centers Now Open in Berwyn

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A couple bundles up to face Chicago’s cold winter this year. Photo courtesy of the Chicago Tribune.

Now that the weather becomes frightful and the temperature has steadily dropped, five warming centers are open in Berwyn and are welcoming residents and the homeless to come in and escape the freezing cold.

According to the Cook County government, over thirty warming centers are now open across the city of Chicago for the winter season. Those who need a safe place to get warm from the freezing temperatures are encouraged to step inside these centers.

Chicagoans who are seeking a shelter should contact the warming center first to verify that it’s open. In Berwyn, the following public spaces in Berwyn are designated open warming centers for the 2016-2017 winter season, according to the Cook County Homeland Security and Emergency Management website:

  • Berwyn Public Library, 2701 S. Harlem Ave.
    • Hours: Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Contact: (708) 788-2660. For after-hours phone calls, call (708) 795-5600 (police).
  • Berwyn Police Department, 6401 W. 31st St.
    • Hours: 24/7
    • Contact: (708) 788-2660. For after-hours phone calls, call (708) 795-5600.
  • Berwyn Recreational Center, 6501 W. 31st St.
    • Hours: Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    • Contact: (708) 788-2010
  • Berwyn Township’s Freedom Park Office, 3701 Scolville Ave.
    • Hours: Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    • Contact: (708) 788-1701

Deputy Director of Communications and Public Affairs at the Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Natalia Derevyanny stresses the importance of keeping warm and keeping safe this winter season.

“We just really want to encourage people to get warm as safely as possible. Especially for residents who are using space heaters, we want to encourage them to turn them off once they leave the room and if they have children or pets to be extra vigilant,” Derevyanny said.

When warming centers that are not open 24/7 close, the Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management advises the homeless to go to shelters such as P.A.D.S. in Chicago Heights, Oaklawn, and other south suburban Chicago locations.

 

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Berwyn Development Corporation Gears Up for 2nd Annual Green Mile Pub Crawl

by Lauren Pinkston

The Green Mile Pub Crawl gives revelers a chance to get a jump on St. Patrick’s Day with a March 13 party along Berwyn’s Roosevelt Road.

Don’t expect too many marching bands, however.

Organizer John Aranza said it will highlight Roosevelt Road as a “destination point”.

“It’s not a typical St. Patrick’s day parade,” Aranza said, “It’s more to showcase the quality of businesses we have.”

Local businesses, such as Fitzgerald’s, Big Guys Sausage, Autre Monde, and others will host special music performances and food and drink specials for the evening.

And this year the organizers are going to showcase more musical acts, including the Band of Brothers Pipes and Drums.

“Band of Brothers is a group of retired firefighters from the Illinois area who play traditional music,” Aranza said. “They’ll be moving to different locations on Roosevelt to play bagpipes throughout the night.”

The Pub Crawl is set to kick off on Friday, March 13 at 5 p.m. and going to  11 p.m. Wristbands for the event costs $10 and include a shuttle service down Roosevelt Road as well as drink specials at participating venues.

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Volunteers help to beautify South Berwyn

By Elisa Juliano

Photo Courtesy of South Berwyn Park District.

While some may be relaxing on Saturday, Apr. 26, volunteers will be working to cleanup South Berwyn.

Check-in for the “2014 South Berwyn Earth Day Kickoff” will begin at Hermitage Middle School at 8:15 am. The event will take place from 9-12 pm.

“It’s a chance for volunteers to get together and beautify South Berwyn,” said Hillary Fulara, a recreational programmer for Proska Park.

Fulara said volunteers will focus on cleaning up designated areas and preparing the community gardens at certain schools.

“It’s part of our strategic plan to institute or install environmental literacy among our residents,” said Fulara of the event.

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Memorial expected to attract 50,000 to Berwyn

By Elisa Juliano

Photo courtesy of Berwyn Park District.

Photo courtesy of Berwyn Park District.

This summer the Berwyn Park District expects many will flock to Berwyn to see “The Moving Wall” on display at Proska Park.

“Through our marketing efforts the number that has been thrown around is 50,000 people,” said Hillary Fulara, a recreational programmer for Proska Park.

According to Fulara, Aurora hosted the wall in November and received over 150,000 visitors.

“The Moving Wall” has been touring the county for almost 30 years and is a half-size replica of the Veterans Vietnam Memorial located in Washington, D.C.

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Christmas spirit in the Depot District

Santa and his reindeer visited Berwyn’s Depot District last night for Berwyn Development Corp. “Deck the Depot” to get the city into the Christmas spirit.

Santa's car

Santa’s car

Visitors enjoyed free horse driven sleigh rides, trolley rides and a petting zoo. They even got to sit on Santa’s lap to tell him their wish list and get a free photograph.

Berwyn girl telling Santa what she wants for Christmas

Berwyn girl telling Santa what she wants for Christmas

The event also collected new unwrapped toys for the “Holiday Cheer Program” in Berwyn and canned goods and non-perishable food items for Berwyn Food Pantries at participating businesses with collection boxes.

Donated goods

Donated goods

Depot District merchants stayed open late offering some complimentary goodies. Also, there was a raffle worth more than $200 for adults 21 and older who spent $10 in the Depot District. Open Houses took place at Giovanni’s World’s Best Ribs Inc, Olive or Twist Martini Bar, BMO Harris Bank N.A., The James Joyce Irish Pub, Off the Traxx and Wishbone.

Sleigh riders say hello

Sleigh riders say hello

 

The 12th Annual Deck the Depot was presented by Santa Sponsor Suburban Life Media and Reindeer Sponsors The James Joyce Irish Pub, Off The Traxx and La Notte Café.

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Berwyn’s 45th Annual Houby Festival: still upholding tradition?

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by | October 7, 2013 · 10:12 am

Into The Retrospect in 22

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By: Jonathan Salamanca

It was one night of retrospect and street photography on Berwyn’s Cermak Road.

Berwyn’s 22 owners Jessica Calek and Dan Streeting hosted Unreported—a one-night only photo exhibit open on April 27 from 7 to 10pm. Unreported displayed the work of Dan Streeting and Anthony Calek. With a comparatively unique approach both photographers relied on a documentary and street style of photography to display their works of art.

“I like to play with people and their daily lives. I like to look and let things happen—and they do,” Anthony Calek said, “most of my images feature people or shadows of people so there is generally some human contact involved. Most of my work is candid as well. I don’t stage anything.”

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Calek’s images were taken in sites all across Europe in places he has either visited or lived. For Unreported Calek drew from some reflection photographic images to show his documented collection of his life and travels. His work captures the life of others on a daily basis through some mirror reflection pieces.
Streeting’s Unreported images come from a collection of photos he’s taken over a span of 10 years documenting the his friends, strangers, and environments.

“It’s almost something I do on site and on the side—aside from my graphic designer. It’s really a dairy for me. So looking over these photo’s I’ve taken over the past ten year are a look into my own diary.” Streeting said.

Streeting’s collection was taken on a film camera while Calek’s works were all digital. This was Calek’s last gallery exhibit in America for at least a year. Calek is moving to Sweden next week.

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“I thought maybe we could make ginger bread houses, and eat cookie dough…”

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By Nicole Foley

Twenty five youngsters started a sugar-filled construction project when they visited Berwyn’s library this past Monday afternoon.

The library was hosting a “Create Your Own Gingerbread House” day.  The children visited the library after school Monday to take part in building their own gingerbread houses.  Continue reading

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Lightin’ Up in Mzar Park

Families came out to see the trees and enjoy the carolers at Mzar Park last Saturday night. The trees were lit up at 4:30  and will be lighted through New Years.

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Youth organizations help the needy

 

By Anthony Garcia

Young people in Berwyn are taking the lead in bringing the holiday spirit to the less fortunate in Berwyn through organizations like Youth Crossroads and CIACO.

The non-profit Youth Crossroads is dedicated to helping the troubled or at-risk youth of Berwyn through any means necessary, 0providing free counseling and leadership programs and hosting events for the children and their families.

During the holiday season however, the young people helped by the organization look to give back to Berwyn, said Programs Director Joel Wallen.

“Throughout the year, they participated in dozens of volunteer opportunities in partnership with local governments, park districts and other social service agencies. When we presented the opportunity to help distribute food on Thanksgiving Day, it just seemed natural for them to volunteer,” Wallen said. Continue reading

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Filed under Business, Health, Leisure and Recreation, Seasonal, Social Justice, Social Services

Galli Lucha Libre invades Berwyn

By Lavell Garner

Masked men are creating mayhem in Berwyn with flying armbars, suplexes, and powerbombs.

But have no fear, these men are luchadors – traditional Mexican wrestlers – and they keep the action inside the wrestling ring.

Galli Lucha Libre has been promoting this traditional Mexican sport in Berwyn in recent years.

Galli’s wrestlers are known for their fast-paced, flying through the air, in your face action.

Galli owner and promoter Carlos Robles took a round-about way to the wrestling ring.

“I basically went from being a Realtor to becoming Gym owner and Lucha Libre Promoter,” Robles said. “I handle hiring the wrestlers, finding sponsors and promoting the shows.”

Galli is actually an acronym for “Gladiadores Aztecas Lucha Libre Internacional,” which translates to Aztec Gladiators of International Lucha Libre. Robles said the organization came together almost accidentally.

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16th Street Theater announces new schedule

By Rene Howard-Paez

Photo Courtesy of 16thstreettheatre.org

The 16th Street Theater located at 6420 16th St., in Berwyn’s Cultural Center has announced its 2013 schedule.

The theater will present five shows under the title “American Dream”

The first show slated to open the season is, “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs 2.0” (Jan. 10-Feb. 2.) According to the 16th Street Theater website, this show is about America’s most mysterious technology icon turned into a hilarious tale of pride, beauty and lust.

Another big show following “The agony and Ectasy of Steve Jobs 2.0,” is “Empanada for a Dream” (Feb. 14-March 16.)

This show comes to the 16th Street Theater after a sold-out-run at the Barrow Group theatre. It was also performed as part of the Yo Solo theatre festival in Los Angeles. This story follows a love-struck man on the Lower East Side of New York who returns to his childhood home, which brings back funny and scary memories.

Following this hit show is “Living Large in a Mini Kind of Way” (April 4-May 11.) Here Chicago’s all-Latina theatre company Teatro Luna brings its unique mix of humor and honesty to the 16th Street Theater. This sharp exploration of the American dream focuses on two Mexican-American sisters, one assimilating into US culture, the other struggling with citizenship status.

The closing show at the theater will be “Broken Fences” (Sept. 19-Oct. 26.)

Broken Fences examines culture, race and socio-economics in a modern American town with humanity, dignity and humor.

More information and ticket prices can be found at www.16thstreettheater.org, or by calling (708) 795-6704

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Horrorbles: Not your average comic shop

By: Anthony Garcia

An evil clown with flaming red hair to your right.

“Monster Man” himself John Aranza.

A life-like Frankenstein to your right.

And stashed somewhere in the vicinity of the store is a custom-made Harley.

These items may seem random and accidental but at Horrorbles, this is everyday life for the store and for its owner, John “Monster Man” Aranza.

The sci-fi/horror shop at 6729 W. Roosevelt Rd. has been a hotspot for locals since 2006 where Aranza first came up with the idea for the shop in a conference in Pennsylvania.

The conference showcased an array of vintage and rare collectable items that made Aranza think about opening a shop with the same kinds of products.

“I started sourcing DVDs online & about a year later, a friend, Robin Rolder (owner of the Friendly Tap) told me about the space she had empty for 13 years and how it needed work, but she wanted to rent it,” Aranza said. Continue reading

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Miscellaneous Treasures at Craft Sale

By Jackie Glosniak

On Saturday Nov. 17, the Cicero-Berwyn Elks Lodge hosted a craft sale for the community. Many local people were on site, selling items from Christmas decorations to rare sports collectibles.

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Recent Fires Empasize Importance of Fire Safety

By Jackie Glosniak

As the weather grows colder in Berwyn, firefighters are worrying about the increased fire risk as more people stay indoors and try potentially unsafe ways to keep warm.

“People are not spending as much time outdoors, and are using fireplaces, supplemental electrical components such as space heaters, and overusing extension cords for TVs and other things to entertain themselves,” said Berwyn Fire Chief Denis O’Halloran.

The increasing risk comes after a busier than usual October, with four house fires occurring at the end of the month.

Angelica Landa of the 3600 block of Oak Park Ave. is wary about fire danger after an exploding water heater caused a fire in her house years ago.

“I have two smoke alarms as well as a fire extinguisher underneath my sink in the kitchen,” she said. “I also have emergency contact numbers available both in my cell phone and posted in my kitchen.”

O’Halloran also has suggestions to avoid fires during the winter months and holiday season. Continue reading

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Berwyn’s Very Own Horror Spot: “Horrorbles”

By: Anthony Garcia

Horrorbles is a sci-fi/horror store located on 6729 W. Roosevelt.

Debuting in 2006, the shop ha been a Berwyn hotspot for fans of all kinds of memorabilia of movies and pop culture. The shop features many kinds of items, from everyday, run-of-the-mill horror items, to high-priced, hard to find autographs of celebrities. Check out “Horrorbles” in Berwyn and see everything they have to offer!

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Berwyn Fall Fest 2012

On Sat. Oct. 20,  children and families from Berwyn enjoyed the North Berwyn Park District’s Fall Fest at the Berwyn Gardens Gazebo. Fest-goers enjoyed pony rides, a petting zoo, and carnival games among others.  

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Cicero 2012 Houby Carnival

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Berwyn Houby Fest Parade

By Jackie Glosniak and Jonathan Salamanca

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Berwyn/Cicero Host Annual Houbyfest

By: Rene Howard-Paez
and
Anthony Garcia

Berwyn recently hosted the annual Houby festival, celebrating the city’s Czech heritage.
The festival began on Friday, October 5th and ran through the whole week.

There was over a dozen food stands, and only one actually sold Czech food. There was a carnival in the festival, giving a place for kids to have some different fun.

The majority of the food stands offered Mexican food, offering a realistic interpretation of the city’s changing demographic.

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