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Skokie Park District Celebrates Community Diversity With Vast Offerings

By Kelly Church

The Skokie Park District, a Skokie, Illinois compilation of parks, facilities, programs and other amenities, serves kids and adults of all ages with a variety of offerings that has something for everyone.

"Since its founding in 1928, nearly every decade has brought new facilities, programs and special events to the district," said Jim Bottorff, the district's communications and marketing manager. "With more than 90 languages spoken in Skokie homes, district events are tailored to the community, meaning they often celebrate Skokie's diversity."

Bottorff said he personally likes the district's outdoor festivals and special events.

The Skokie Festival of Cultures, which was founded in 1991, is an annual summer tradition that has become one of the premier ethnic festivals in Illinois and attracts more than 25,000 people each year. Attendees receive a passport and obtain stamps as they tour the festival, experiencing cultures from all around the world through food, arts and crafts, games and more.

Special events include February's Winter Chilly Fest, a two-day festival held in February, with old-fashioned winter fun and food. Downtown Skokie is home to the annual Backlot Bash, held over three days in August, featuring international music acts, a carnival and much more family fun.

Bottorff said almost all of the district's parks and facilities are family-friendly. In fact, there is a long list of summer camps available, ranging from art camps to theater camps to sports camps and nature camps. Skokie's Imagination Playground, The Exploritorium, is an indoor playground where parents can explore with their children. Some major features of the playground include a Lite Brite wall, engineering station, water play area, costume play, and a two-and-a-half-story tubes and tunnels climbing structure and more.

All of Skokie Park District's programs, facilities and events can be found in detail at www.skokieparks.org. Information on how to sign up for programs can be found online.

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