The celebration of Grayslake’s 125th birthday had to be put off last year because of the pandemic, but the belated party is now underway via a series of village events.
On Thursday evening, the Grayslake Heritage Center and Museum will host an evening of history including a special presentation by historic re-enactors, the unveiling of the village’s new flag design and the opening of a trunk locked by residents in 1995 as a time capsule.
“The time capsule is in front of me here. It’s a little dusty,” Michelle Poe, the executive director of the heritage center and museum, said over the phone from her office Monday. “It’s been hidden in the village hall.”
Poe said that in addition to seeing what the residents of the past stored in the trunk, several community groups have come together to donate items from 2021 to be opened 25 years from now. Among the objects Poe said are likely to be included are a photo of Center Street and a cellphone, so hopefully those in the future can marvel at how far they’ve come, she said.
Another way Grayslake residents are being encouraged to engage with the village’s history is by visiting all 25 stops on the new Grayslake History Trail. And as an incentive, five lucky people will receive $100 in the form of Chamber Bucks, which can be used at any village business in the Chamber of Commerce.
To enter people must submit selfies of themselves at each stop by Aug. 22. The five winners will be announced on Aug. 23. Poe said 19 people have completed the trail so far.
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On Friday and Saturday, the Grayslake Chamber of Commerce’s annual Summer Days street festival will bear the Celebrate 125 + 1 branding. Maribeth Hamm, the executive director of the chamber, said there are a lot of great bands lined up to perform, and carnival games, food booths and a pie eating contest also will highlight the event.
Also on Saturday is the Summer Days parade. Hamm said more than 50 entries have signed up to march in the parade and she is hoping many will feature the birthday theme.
The final two Grayslake 125 + 1 branded events will be the village’s Aloft Balloon Festival next Saturday, Aug. 28, and the Grayslake Craft Beer Festival Sept. 18 in the village’s downtown.
For more information on Celebration 125 + 1 events, visit villageofgrayslake.com.