38,000 people make up this Chicago suburb that’s anything but uneventful. Most teens say they hate it and it’s boring, but truthfully you’ll miss this place once you’re gone. Park Ridge has many trademarks that make it the town that it is. You’ll only know them if you grew up here! These are the 20 signs you grew up in Park Ridge IL!
Uptown is the (only) place to be in Park Ridge. You’ll find a link of Chain restaurants, the library, the Metra, and not one, but two Starbucks shops. Going Uptown in middle school was the biggest deal ever. Getting ready to go meet your squad and just walking Uptown or meeting at Hinkley was the highlight of the weekend.
2. Maine South
Growing up in Park Ridge, most people will attend Maine South High School. There’s nothing better than watching the Hawks dominate on Wilson Field every Friday night. The best part was getting decked out in red and black school colors!
3. The Taste of Park Ridge
A three day excuse for middle schoolers to go Uptown and stand in a field with their friends and run away taking pictures. Another place for adults to eat local food and listen to local bands. Everyone is happy at the taste of Park Ridge!
4. Nail salons
Park Ridge is known for their infamous amount of nail salons. Don’t ever fret for an appointment, you’ve got options.
5. Dairy Queen
You knew summer was just around the corner when Dairy Queen opened. The seasonal restaurant is only open for summer, so you can see a massive line of people waiting for their DQ treat every hour, of every day.
6. Centennial hill
In the winter, every good sledding story starts at Centennial Hill. You can find the entire population of Park Ridge at the iconic, colossal hill after the first snow of the year.
7. Emerson vs Lincoln
You either went to Emerson or Lincoln for public middle school. Throughout High School, you will still be referred to as an Emerson or Lincoln kid, and you must take pride in your red & blue or blue & yellow colors!
8. The Pickwick
Growing up, you saw every movie at the Pickwick. Seeing the latest and greatest in the huge front theater was always so thrilling.
9. Blue line and Metra
Everyone learns how to ride the train at a young age in Park Ridge. You bought your $3 ticket at the gate and then went down to a concert, or a shopping spree in the City.
10. Hillary Clinton
How many people can say that they grew up and attended the same school as the former First Lady? Not many.
11. Homecoming parade
Saturday’s are not just for the boys. Everyone from town comes out on Homecoming Saturday to watch the numerous clubs and organizations walk with floats. They were decorated with the theme of the Homecoming dance that took place later that night at Maine South High School.
12. Summer Jobs
Everyone in this town is a camp counselor over the summer. It’s the easiest and funnest to make money.
13. Park District
If you’re from Park Ridge, you attended a Park District camp as a child. No discussion about this one.
14. Pistols and Warriors
The Pistols are the competitive softball team for Park Ridge, and the Warriors are the competitive baseball team. Growing up playing these sports, you most likely tried out for one of these teams and dedicated your whole summer to it.
15. Maine East Fireworks
The 3rd of July has become a holiday in Park Ridge. The entire population of Park Ridge gathers for this firework show extravaganza, located at Maine East High School.
Most girls and boys start their football and cheerleading career with the Falcons. Falcon’s cheerleaders are at every Friday night game supporting the football team.
17. The Harp and Fiddle
The new family run business is all the hype on Main Street right now. Although it’s fairly new, the Irish pub is the hottest spot for adults, and great first employment for teenagers too! The outstanding meals are a plus.
18. Oakton Ice Arena
The sweat smell from hockey players fill the arena. Figure skating is equally popular here too. Oakton is where every child learns to skate and middle school kids come here every Friday night for free skate. But really, who could forget the pool with the high dive that was shut down just a few years ago!?
19. The Community center
Basketball leagues, swimming lessons, volleyball tournaments, workout facility, you name it. The “CC”, as it’s often referred to, includes many facilities and programs to keep you busy all year ‘round, and keep you in shape.
20. Big vs Little Starbucks
Go big or go home is the saying in Park Ridge when it comes to Starbucks. Bigger is better; better service, better drinks, and better environment. The bigger Starbucks is twice the size and there is something about it that just makes it better than the little one.
Do you have any other signs you grew up in Park Ridge!? Share in the comments below!
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