Hinsdale readies for the Fourth of July
Jessica Fitzpatrick, who takes classes at theHinsdale Center for the Arts, created the design for this year's T-shirt. | Dan Luedert~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 29, 2012 6:36AM
Artists often seek exposure for their artwork. Jessica Fitzpatrick, a 13-year-old artist from Hinsdale, will get that at an early age.
Her design was chosen for the patriotic T-shirts that will be on sale at the Arts and Crafts Fair during Hinsdale’s Fourth of July celebration at Burlington Park.
Jessica, who is going into eighth grade at St. Isaac Jogues School, has taken classes at the Hinsdale Center for the Arts since she was in fourth grade.
“I’m interested in art. I’m focusing on acrylic painting now,” Jessica said.
She heard of the contest at the arts center and wondered if she would have enough time to complete a submission. Over several days, she came up with an idea, sketched it and colored it with Sharpie markers.
“I wanted to do a symbol of America,” Jessica said. “I thought of the Statue of Liberty and a bald eagle. I decided to do the Statue of Liberty because it is a very universal sign of America.”
Her illustration is a black-and-white drawing of the statue with fireworks in the background.
For creating the winning design, Jessica will receive five of the T-shirts free and 10 free visits to the Hinsdale Community Pool. The profits from the sale of the shirts will go to the fund that pays for the Fourth of July parade and activities.
The Arts & Crafts Fair, with more than 100 vendors, is only part of the fun in Hinsdale on the Fourth.
The Independence Day Celebration starts at 10 a.m. when the parade steps off from Sixth Street and Garfield Avenue.
The parade, with the theme “Proud to be an American,” heads north on Garfield to First Street, then west on First to Grant Street. Marchers will turn south on Grant and proceed to Sixth Street, where the parade will disperse.
“We have 60 entries to date,” Park and Recreation Director Gina Hassett said last week.
All participants must register in advance. For more information, contact the Hinsdale Parks and Recreation Department at (630) 789-7090.
After the parade, at 11 a.m., the Arts & Crafts Fair and the Family Festival open in Burlington Park, Children may enjoy inflatable play areas, face painting and tabletop carnival games. Local restaurants will have food booths set up.
At 11:30 a.m., head to Chicago Avenue in front of Memorial Hall to check out the turtles or find a good place to watch. Children and adults will be asked to choose turtles to compete in races on “a custom-made Astroturf track,” said Greg Donnelly, a member of the Hinsdale Rotary Club, which has sponsored the turtles races for the past six years.
The Rotary Club borrows about 30 turtles from the Chicago Reptile House in Orland Park.
“We use red-sided sliders, “ Donnelly said. “The guys at Chicago Reptile told us they’re good racing turtles. They’re tough little guys.”
Donnelly promises the turtles are not harmed.
“We take real good care of them,” he said.
They run on a track made specifically for the event by Tom Cunningham, one of the owners of DeSitter Flooring in LaGrange.
The winner of each heat is the first turtle to cross the finish line.
“It’s the most exciting 6 feet in all of sports,” Donnelly said. Although, as the race motto states, “this could take awhile.”
The police and fire departments each choose a turtle to face off in their own competition with a large trophy at stake.
“We appreciate all the support we get from the community,” Donnelly said, and the free races are a way to share some fun with the community. “It also lets people know that the Rotary Club is out there.”
The West Suburban Concert Band will perform from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
The Family Festival ends at 3 p.m. and the Arts and Crafts Fair closes at 4 p.m.