The Oak Forest Police Department’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Illinois has been selected as the grand marshal of the Oak Forest Fleadh family parade on Saturday, March 5. The parade steps off at 11 a.m. at 157th Street and heads north on Cicero Avenue.
According to Oak Forest-Crestwood Area Chamber of Commerce Director Kimberly Malecky-Iles, who organizes the event, the Torch Run was an easy choice. “Law Enforcement Torch Run inspires people to open their minds, to accept and include people with intellectual disabilities, and celebrates differences among all of us,” she said. “Over the past few years, our police officers have literally run with this program – organizing a variety of events to raise money and awareness for Special Olympics. It’s an honor to recognize their efforts and their overall commitment to our community.”
As grand marshals, Law Enforcement Torch Run supporters will lead more than 60 parade units, including pipe and drum bands, civic and community groups, schools and churches, and local businesses along Cicero Avenue. The Oak Forest Fleadh celebrates Irish culture and tradition as well as the people and businesses of Oak Forest.
Before the parade, Oak Forest police officers will start the CNB Oak Forest Fleadh 5K at 8:30 a.m. and interact with Fleadh-goers during the Open Streets hour from 10 to 11 a.m. During this hour, children and adults can bike, blade, and play a car-free Cicero Avenue. After the parade, the police officers will be catching a bus to Manteno where they will be leaping into frigid waters at the Manteno Sportsmen’s Club as part of the Polar Plunge. The officers will join thousands of other daring individuals who will brave the cold in the name of Special Olympics at 21 Polar Plunge sites across Illinois.
“This is our first time participating in the Polar Plunge,” said Oak Forest Police Officer Bob Frias, who coordinators Torch Run efforts for the police department. “It’s going to be cold but we’re excited to plunge for Special Olympics Illinois. We are grateful for all of the support we have received over the years and look forward to continuing our mission to raise awareness and funds for these inspiring athletes.”
Oak Forest police officers taking the Plunge will be accepting donations at the Oak Forest Fleadh; however, anyone interested in making a donation can do so online or at CNB Bank & Trust at 5459 W. 159th Street.
In addition to the 5K run/walk, open streets and family parade, the Oak Forest Fleadh includes a pub and restaurant open house from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. Free shuttle buses will make continuous stops from 7 p.m. until 2 a.m. at participating pubs and restaurants, including:
- Blarney Stone Pub
- Oak Forest Bowl
- Marcotte’s Bar and Grill
- The Rockin’ Horse Saloon and Grill
- Beggar’s Pizza
- Tap’s Pub
- O’Brien’s Pub
Like the Oak Forest Fleadh on Facebook!