CHICAGO — On this Father’s Day, dozens of dads spent quality time with their kids at Ogden Park in Englewood for the Father’s March.
From burning off some energy on the bouncy houses to cooling off with some ice cream, there was no shortage of bonding activities.
“We pretty much host a big family event to recognize our fathers and great work happening with our fathers and great men in our community,” said Joseph Williams, Mr. Dad’s Father’s Club Founder.
Williams wears many hats in his Southside community: activist, mentor, and, his favorite, serving as a father figure.
“It’s not about what we can buy our children or the material things, but about the time that we can give our children and make that time count by really encouraging our children and building that self-esteem,” Williams said.
Chris Brown, who came to the event with his 2-year-old son Casen, says being a father is a title he’s proud to hold.
“It feels amazing being a dad,” Brown said. “Like it’s the best ride I’ve been on, basically. It’s me and little man to the end, basically. I love him so much.”
Over in South Shore, dads like Stanton Adams spent their special day grilling delicious food for families for the annual Real Men Cook event at the Quarry on East 75th Street.
The event served a dual purpose for Adams.
“Today marks the ninth year I lost my father on Father’s Day, so rather than be home and be sad, I’m going to take that and put something my dad always wanted me to do; be a chef.”
Father’s Day takes on extra meaning this year for the Black community as the holiday falls on the same day as Juneteenth.
“It just has a special meaning. It has a home meaning. It’s more family and community. Coming off of Covid and everything, I think now is the time we could put our arms around each other.”