Families showed up by the hundreds throughout this past weekend's Beach Bash, hosted by the Parks and Recreation Department, and held at Lake Forest’s Forest Park Beach to celebrate its 25th anniversary. What took many years to conceive and build is now part of everyday lives according to many residents who attended.
From the north end’s sunbathers and swimmers to the south end’s volleyball players and boaters, and a mish-mash of metal detectors, sand architects and artists, sun worshippers, bookworms and water-logged kids in the middle, the weekend’s weather was just right – hot but not too hot, and warm, pleasant water – except for tall, choppy waves during the barely-attended Coho fishing derby just after sunrise Saturday morning.
“Why go out of town when you have a beach like this,” said Forest Park Beach regular, Mike Metzger, of Lake Forest. “We’re down here every weekend. We love it. Wouldn’t miss it,” he said as he watched one of his daughters windsurf for the first time ever – it was one of the Beach Bash perks.
While watching a sand sculptor for a while, Alana Tennett, 6, of Lake Forest, was quickly able to share her favorite part of the day “When we got to play in the water and when there were big waves we dived into them,” she said.
While most beachgoers were Lake Forest residents already in-the-know of their treasure and of the 25th anniversary celebration – Beach Bash, others came from near and far suburbs and Chicago.
Terrill Laughton, of Lake Forest, said he and his family frequent the beach for the lake, the playground and Cassandra’s Concession Stand.
From behind the sales counter, Jason Wilson, of Cassandra’s, said, “It’s busy-busy,” as he handed another youngster a frozen treat. “Today is one of the busiest days (of the summer).”
The stand, and a newer, sister stand by the boat launch, both owned by Willie Wilson and his wife Cassandra Brooks, has been in business for six years.
“The kids, the families, they know us and ask for us,” Wilson said. “We look forward to the summers,” adding that they must have done something right to be blessed with this location.