By Mary Jo Viero
BAPA Executive Director
The summer is heating up! There is so much to see and do this month. I am looking forward to celebrating the July 4th followed by our third Porch Concert, our third Garden Walk, and then our first ever Wizarding Weekend! In between all that there is Country on Western too! Just thinking about it makes me smile!
I can’t believe our Garden Walk is celebrating its third year on July 10. We started it in 2020 when every other event was cancelled. It turned out to be a perfect fit for BAPA because it serves our mission by bringing our community together to celebrate the beauty of our neighborhood, showcase our small businesses, and invite people from outside our neighborhood to see us in bloom!
The Wizarding Weekend is very special to me because my son was a huge fan of the Harry Potter books growing up. I hosted a Harry Potter birthday party for him and spent countless hours building magical Lego sets too.
I’ve always felt that our community could do an amazing job of celebrating all things Harry Potter, and that’s what we’ll be doing July 21 through 24. We have the Morgan Park Academy campus that makes so many people comment that it’s like visiting Hogwarts – wait until they watch the Quidditch tournament at MPA! The Beverly Arts Center is the perfect place for a “Harry Potter” movie marathon, then of course we have a Castle where people can enjoy magical classes, and the beautiful Beverly Bank building which is like our local Gringott’s.
Our Rock Island train line reminds me of the Hogwarts Express and Sweet Freaks reminds me of Honey Dukes. Neighborhood business districts will be transforming themselves into pop ups of all magical kinds. There will be something for everyone on Wizarding Weekend. Fan or not, it will be something to see and enjoy.
Most importantly, the festival is incredible collaboration of our community. Organizations, businesses, schools, and libraries are all working together to bring out the best in our magical neighborhood! On top of all of that, the proceeds from the festival with go towards beautification efforts in Beverly/Morgan Park! I couldn’t be happier.
At the end of July, BAPA will have hosted and co-hosted three porch concerts, the Home Tour, the Ridge Run, the Garden Walk, and the Wizarding Weekend in the span of just 12 weeks. We hope everyone enjoyed them, but we are tired. In August, I have decided to let our small, strong, smart staff take some well-deserved time off. The BAPA office open on a limited schedule so that we can recharge and spend time with our family and friends. Call before you stop by!
A huge thank you goes out to our event sponsors for generously supporting us. We couldn’t do it without you. Thank you also to everyone who became a new BAPA member or renewed their memberships. Your financial support helps us to be able to bring events and programs to you.