Take a stroll down Oak Park Avenue in downtown Tinley Park this summer and you''ll notice fewer sounds and crowds, maybe even less traffic. That's because, feeling the economic pinch, village officials plan to reduce the number of free downtown events they offer. This summer, Tinley Park likely will have five or six outdoor music concerts instead of eight and two outdoor movies instead of three at Zabrocki Plaza near the Oak Park Avenue Metra train station at 173rd Street.
The concerts -- a mix of country and rock bands -- usually draw about 3,000 to 5,000 people each, and outdoor movies about 1,000 to 2,000 people each, marketing director Donna Framke. The reduction will save about $8,000.
Tinley Park also plans to combine three weekends of December holiday festivities into one. Now all of the fun will be packed into one weekend, likely the first weekend in December, Framke said. That will save about $10,000.
"If the economy keeps doing what it is doing, folks are going to be looking for real cheap entertainment," Mayor Ed Zabrocki said. "So we want to keep the events. In the same breath, these things are not free."
Taxpayers may not realize the work and cash that goes into the events, Zabrocki said. Tinley Park provides Port-o-Potties, clean up and fencing, as well as a large outdoor movie screen for the outdoor movies.
What's interesting is that many cities have been adopting more
outdoor events because of the economy. Families tightening their budgets may not want to spend upwards of $70 at the movie theater, so they'll see a free outdoor movie in the park. They might even spend 2 bucks a person on concessions, helping out their local restaurants and vendors. Many towns have found outdoor movies in a city park to be more profitable in these hard economic times. Outdoor movie screens and projectors do cost cities up-front capital, but the returns are almost always multiplied.
As for normal citizens that may be feeling the pinch, outdoor movies and other events can be the perfect way to have fun without spending a lot of money. If a vacation is out of the question, spend a few nights feeling the nostalgia of an outdoor movie or concert with your friends and neighbors. Don't miss the outdoor events Tinley is
presenting this summer.
Source: "Free downtown Tinley events fall victim to economy" by Kristen Schorsch -Southtown Star. Read full article at: http://blogs.southtownstar.com/schorsch/2009/03/free-downtown-tinley-events-fa.html