Waukegan, Illinois (August 21, 2023) – The Waukegan Park District and the Waukegan Historical Society are partnering to host the 28th Annual Oakwood Cemetery Walk on Saturday, September 9, 2023 from 12pm to 3:30pm at Oakwood Cemetery. The Oakwood Cemetery Walk is an annual “living history” event, showcasing the rich history of Waukegan using costumed actors to portray local historic figures with connections to the cemetery and city.
The theme of the 28th Annual Oakwood Cemetery Walk is “Get Waukegan Out of the Mud,” featuring stories about initiatives to improve the infrastructure in Waukegan. Participants will experience stories about the first automobile rules of the road, mandated labor on streets and roads, and more.
Public parking is not available at Oakwood Cemetery, so attendees meet at the Haines House Museum, located at 1917 N. Sheridan Road in Bowen Park. Buses will depart from the Haines House Museum to Oakwood Cemetery at 12pm, 12:30pm, 1pm, 1:30pm, and 2pm. The last tour will begin at approximately 2:15pm.
Jeremiah Johnson, President of the Waukegan Park District Board of Commissioners, stated, “The Waukegan Park District and the Waukegan Historical Society encourage the public to explore the rich history of Waukegan. The 28th Annual Oakwood Cemetery Walk is a great opportunity for individuals to learn about their community from local history experts.”
Lori Nerheim, President of the Waukegan Historical Society Board of Directors, stated, “We are excited to partner with the Waukegan Park District to present this immersive living history tour about the origins of road building and how paving city streets and other infrastructure improvements helped create our modern city. Participants will gain new insights into Waukegan’s early days, and the people who helped make our city what it is today.”
Jay Lerner, Executive Director of the Waukegan Park District, stated, “The Waukegan Park District is proud to partner with the Waukegan Historical Society to share local history with our community through events like the 28th Annual Oakwood Cemetery Walk. The partnership with the Waukegan Historical Society is an important part of enhancing our history offerings.”
Advance tickets are available for $10 and limited tickets will be available on the day of the event for $20. The 28th Annual Oakwood Cemetery Walk will be held rain or shine. More information and advance tickets are available at waukeganparks.org/oakwood.
About the Waukegan Park District
Established on December 26, 1916, the Waukegan Park District (WPD) has 53 properties and more than 742 acres of land, including the 18-hole Bonnie Brook and 9-hole Greenshire Golf Courses. Properties are managed to the highest environmental and conservation standards. Facilities operated by the WPD include the Field House Sports, Fitness and Aquatics Center, Waukegan’s Greg Petry SportsPark, Waukegan Skate Park, BMX Track, SplashZone, Percussion Playground, recreational centers, disc golf course, dog exercise area and agility course, outdoor sports fields, picnic areas, playgrounds, splash pads, and sports courts including basketball, tennis and pickleball. A full range of programs and services are offered year-round for all ages, from infants to seniors, as well as special need populations. Healthy lifestyles, wellness initiatives, and a connection with the outdoors and nature are integrated throughout programs, services, and special events. Arts and cultural activities are provided by the Jack Benny Center for the Arts, Waukegan Symphony Orchestra and Concert Chorus, and the Waukegan History Museum. We offer something for everyone!
A member of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD), Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA), and the Park District Risk Management Agency (PDRMA), the WPD employs 73 full-time and 219 part-time, seasonal, and temporary employees and is recognized by the IPRA as an Exceptional Workplace.
Nationally accredited by the NRPA Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) and State accredited through the IAPD Distinguished Agency Accreditation, the WPD has received the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Triple Crown Award for receiving the GFOA’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, Popular Annual Financial Reporting Award, and the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award. The WPD was awarded the NRPA National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management in 2013, and was named a Gold Medal Finalist in 2012, 2013, 2019, 2021, 2022, and 2023.