July 2, 2008 at 2:34 PM CDT - Updated July 11 at 3:40 AM
The National Oak Park High School Alumni Reunion kicked off Tuesday in Laurel.
Since 1978, every two years the association holds a week-long reunion. Organizers say over 5,000 people will be in the city this week for the 17th gathering.
"It's a great impact on the city," said Executive Director Mary Campbell. "We spend more money, we're larger groups, so we spend a lot of money. We stay in a lot of hotels, we buy lots and lots of foods. We give awards to deserving Oak Parkites who have reached international and national heights. And that is why in 2004 the federal government declared us a national historical landmark because of the achievement of the graduates of this school."