In case you live under a rock, or without electricity, or, you know, not here, Mokena for the first time won Eric and Kathy’s Battle of the Burbs contest, a bracket-style answer to March Madness, on 101.9 FM The Mix Thursday. Mokena was declared the winner after after beating four other suburbs, including neighbors Tinley Park and Frankfort.
To congratulate Mokena on the win, Dave Karwowski, known on the radio show only as “The Big Karwowski,” will present Mokena with a championship trophy Monday morning at around 7:30 a.m.
Food from local restaurants will be available, including Subway sandwiches and Ed & Joe's pizza, and residents can enjoy local entertainment, such as the infamous Mokena fight song performed by and an appearance by Southside favorites Three Men in Kilts.
And if all goes as planned, Lewis University’s Chicagoland Aviation will host a flyover, with John “Swany” Swanson from the Eric and Kathy show flying in the lead plane.
But more about that prized trophy: Karwowski said he will present Mokena with a recycled 1979 radio softball league trophy, refurbished with a hand-inscribed plaque made specially for Mokena. But hey, it's the thought that counts, right?
“It’s an exciting event because it makes more room in our trophy case,” Karwowski joked.
For Mokena to become the winning suburb, Mix listeners had to text, call or email into the radio station and vote at a designated time. Karwowski said that the station received 20,000 votes during the final round, which only lasted seven to 10 minutes. Mokena beat Tinley Park by a whopping 77 percent.
“It’s great to see local communities get involved and earn their bragging rights,” Karwowski said.
Mayor Joe Werner said he was absolutely ecstatic when he heard Mokena had won. He said he had weard a lot of people had been talking about the contest and wondered if Mokena could win.
“I’m glad we accomplished it,” Werner said. “Going up against the types of towns that we faced with bigger populations, it’s exciting that we had the ability to pull off a win.”
Mokena also beat Plainfield and Highland Park, Ind. during the competition.
While planning for the event is still in the works, Werner said that he encourages Mokena residents to come out, have some fun and show off their pride.
“I love a good party, and anything we can do to get out on a Monday morning sounds good to me,” Werner said, laughing.
Werner also said he hoped Mokena residents would give Eric and Kathy a warm welcome. After all, Mokena has a lot of Eric and Kathy listeners.
This is the third year Eric and Kathy have hosted this competition. The past two winners were Crete and Bartlett.