Diana Stuart, and her granddaugther, Skylar, 3, of Palos Hills, enjoy Palos Hill's Friendship Festival on Friday night. (Photos by Kelly White)

Diana Stuart, and her granddaugther, Skylar, 3, of Palos Hills, enjoy Palos Hill's Friendship Festival on Friday night. (Photos by Kelly White)

Palos Hills celebrates Friendship Fest 2022

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By Kelly White

The city of Palos Hills is bringing the community together this weekend with its annual Friendship Festival.

“We always look forward to this great family weekend event,” Jerry Bennett, Palos Hills Mayor, said. “It’s one of the last free festivals around and it has been a tradition for the last 41 years in Palos Hills.”

The festival started Thursday and runs through Sunday evening on the grounds of Moraine Valley Community College at 107th and 88th Avenue, which offered ample free parking in Moraine Valley’s many parking lots.

“This fest has been around forever and we look forward to it every year,” Kasia Harmata, of Palos Hills, said.

Unfortunately, the festival was cancelled during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, but returned during the summer of 2021. City officials are proud to be hosting it again this year; keeping it a fun family tradition.

“Mayor Bennett is proud of this festival and spent a lot of time helping plan the entertainment and logistics of the event,” Kristin Violante, Palos Hills’ Resource & Recreation Commissioner, said. “He spent every night out there, shaking hands and helping staff. As a city, we are proud to provide a fun, safe environment and make it as affordable as we can for families.”

The city accomplished just that, because there was something for the everyone to enjoy, starting with the Wilson Family Carnival, a family owned and operated traveling amusement park servicing many events throughout the Midwest and providing over 20 amusement rides and carnival games.

Mega passes are available for unlimited carnival rides but the entertainment did not stop there.

Located in the popular beer garden, the lineup of live musical entertainment included some of the best cover bands of groups like the Eagles, Journey, the Beatles, and many other ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s music.

There was also a wide array of local food vendors offering delicious treats, including: Snackrun, Tacos El Gavilan, SnoDaze Tropical Sno, Capone Tacos, RS Concessions, Genoa Italian, Zacarelli’s Pizza and Highlanders Grill.

Face painting, free pony rides and a petting zoo for children took place, along with bingo for adults.

A special needs day took place on Friday, making the fest all-inclusive for all of its residents.

A giant firework display is scheduled for Sunday night at dusk presented by Central States.

“What I personally like most about the fest is the family atmosphere and the fact that it gives the opportunity for neighbors to spend time with other neighbors in a fun and safe atmosphere,” Violante said. “I also like how all the departments within the city worked together to help provide for this event.”

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Julian Rebidas, 8, of Palos Hills, won a large stuffed prize at Palos Hills’ Friendship Festival on Friday night.

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