ROGERS PARK — The first day of school for Chicago kids is just around the corner, and the 49th Ward is holding its 25th annual Back-to-School picnic as a way to send off summer in style.
On Aug. 30, from noon-4 p.m. at Loyola Park just off Farwell Avenue, families can gather to kick back with Rogers Park Ald. Joe Moore (49th) and state Sen. Heather Steans to enjoy an afternoon full of fun (and essential) activities.
"I've been hosting this picnic since 1991 as a reminder to kids and their parents of the importance of returning to school," Moore said in an email to the ward. "But this is also a community picnic for people of all ages, so stop by even if you're [sic] kids are grown or you've never had kids."
Among the picnic's main events: The Jesse White Tumblers and the promise of "large, inflatable carnival toys."
Kids can say goodbye to summer with music from Norman Polk, face painting, dance contests, a moonwalk, games and prizes, while neighbors wishing to come out and enjoy the day can get a view of the beach from the senior's bingo table.
Representatives from the Chicago Children's Museum will be present to hand out free passes, while the DuSable Museum of African American History will be on site with their mobile museum.
The City of Chicago's clerk office will also be at the picnic, helping parents sign their kids up for the City Clerk Kids ID program — a program that helps file fingerprints, photos and vital information on children that can be shared with law enforcement in the case they are to ever go missing or become lost.
The Bright Smiles Bright Futures Colgate Mobile Dental Van will be offering free dental screenings and oral health care lessons to make sure area kids go back to school with beautiful, tiny smiles.
The Rogers Park Chamber of Commerce is also continuing to collect backpacks, gift cards and school supplies for a drive benefiting students at Gale Elementary school, who suffered a $362,071 loss in funding for the upcoming school year.
The event will also have free food and soft drinks, Moore said in an email to residents.
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