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Arts and Entertainment

library

It’s not just book lovers who appreciate the library that serves both Posen and Midlothian. For over 75 years, patrons have been enjoying the services of the Midlothian Public Library. Of course, there are books—more than 50,000 volumes for readers of all ages. About 160 magazines cover general interest, arts and crafts, business and scientific journals.

Newspapers include Metro Chicago, Crain’s Business, Wall Street Journal, as well as the local Midlothian-Bremen Messenger.

Selections and services also include audiotape cassettes, compact discs, audio books, videocassettes, DVDs, pamphlets, large-print books, adult literacy, business information and reference sources. A telesensor reader is available for the blind and visually handicapped.

The library sponsors programs for all ages throughout the year. Pre-school story hour, summer reading programs, group visits and tours, movies, arts and crafts are just some available activities. Adult programs include everything from investment seminars to travel programs.

Midlothian has an active historical society that not only maintains documents, photographs and artifacts of the past, but also consistently gathers more historical information. Many items have been donated, such as photographs of residents’ homes. Visitors are welcome to view the artifacts at the Society’s Springfield Avenue location.

The Midlothian Historical Society reserves a room for the Midlothian Fine Arts Association where area artists may display their artwork. The Fine Arts Association also sponsors workshops.

baseball

People may also pick up directions for a driving tour of Midlothian’s older homes at the Historical Society. Homes featured have been built from 1867 to 1917 and include the George R. Thorn House on Country Club Drive. Built as a summer cottage for members of the Midlothian Country Club, this home contains 5,000 square feet within its original 17 rooms. Thorn, co-founder and then president of Montgomery Ward, purchased the property from a farmer named Gilsen. The land in the rear contains a garden with a Japanese teahouse.

One of the most significant cultural events where people can have a great time is the “Midlothian Scottish Fair.” The event begins with a parade and continues with music, food and dancing. This is not your typical fair, considering that the music comes from fiddles; the food includes tea and scones; a sheep herding demonstration is a huge attraction; and the dancing is Scottish. But fast food lovers need not worry, for there is American food too.

In fact, there is no reason to ever go hungry anytime here. A wide selection of restaurants and fast-food franchises dot the area. There are several establishments with dining rooms and full service. There are American, Italian, Chinese, Mexican cuisine. There is pizza, hot dogs and hamburgers, sandwiches and much more. Donuts by Krispy Kreme are popular day or night. People can treat themselves or buy a gift at Fannie May Candies. Chris and Dominic Bartolini own Bartolini’s Restaurant, which offers a party room as well as catering.

One way to work off some calories is to visit the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park, set on 300 acres of pristine Illinois prairie at Governors State University. It is home to 22 sculptures by world-renowned artists including Di Suvero, Hunt and Puryear. Freedom Hall at the Nathan Manilow Theater offers a diverse series focusing on dance, music, theater, popular attractions, children’s theater and outreach activities. The intimate 330-seat setting guarantees that everyone gets a great seat.

The Photo-Four Gallery, the Dorothea Thiel Gallery and the Sharp/Danka Gallery, are located at South Suburban College.

The Moraine Valley Community College Fine and Performing Arts Center features the 600-seat Dorothy Menker Theater with state-of-the-art technology. For big concerts, the First Midwest Amphitheater, which has the nation’s largest covered outdoor music pavilion, hosts performers like The Dave Matthews Band, Stevie Nicks, Jimmy Buffett, John Fogarty and the Allman Brothers. Special events here include the Further Festival, the Lilith Fair, the B.B. King Blues Festival and Farm Aid.

Near the First Midwest Amphitheater is Odyssey Fun World, voted “Best Family Fun Center” and “Best Golf Course.” Indoor and outdoor activities include 250 redemption and video games, laser tag, batting cages, a four-level soft playland, 36 holes of golf, two go-kart tracks, bumper boats, KIDZ Adventure Park, speed boats, and food.

The Southwest Symphony Orchestra offers a wide variety of entertainment.

The award-winning Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra is a 75-member professional symphony. It performs orchestra, pops, chamber and educational concerts at Governors State University and throughout the Southland region.

And then there are sports. The Windy City Thunderbolts Baseball Team has a lot of fans in Midlothian and Posen. The Thunderbolts play in the 320-seat Hawkinson Ford Field, with skyboxes available, as well as concessions and refreshments. Mascot “Boomer” with his on-field antics is always fun to see.

Culturally, the area continues to develop and expand, focusing on theatres and theatre companies, art galleries, orchestras and musical groups, museums and historical sites.

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Bill Kay
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