To the Editor:
Couples carrying picnic baskets, families with lawn chairs, folks using wheelchairs and others using canes all coming together to enjoy an evening of music amidst the beauty of the outdoor deck at the Lost Valley Visitor Center. This is the scene that welcomes you on any First Friday concert of the summer months at Glacial Park – a mini-Ravinia-style event without the hassle or crowds or parking lot nightmares.
Before the music begins, you're witness to friends greeting each other and reconnecting while savoring their picnic treats all under the majesty of towering oaks. The music could be folk, a '50s review or have a Country slant to it; the crowd embraces it all. Some are event moved to dancing! Eyes twinkle, smiles abound, hands clap and feet stop.
Thank you MCCD for providing this unique opportunity to take in the park's natural beauty while enjoying professional musicians al fresco! Critics have suggested that these type of events to not fit the McHenry County Conservation District's mission or vision.
I offer, what better vehicle to introduce those taxpayers who don't visit our MCCD sites otherwise or are unable to access either biking, paddling, hiking or riding trails than by affording them this musical vista? As a professional who programs for older adults I can confidently say that First Friday events are a bargain ... one staff member and one summer intern working an event that draws over 200 people at each event is a win-win.
Budgeting for four First Friday programs each year is an expense I am happy to have my tax dollars be directed to....what a joyful experience for a varied audience who may never otherwise have or make the opportunity to take in the pastoral views of the sunset over the kames or glimpse a doe on their way in or out. Play On MCCD!