Local neighborhoods celebrated Fourth of July this year with their annual parades.
On July 3, Brookdale held their 44th annual parade. Participants included the Naperville police and fire departments, Mayor Steve Chirico, and Naperville council members.
“For 44 years it’s been a long-standing tradition. It started off as a small group of bikes and kids walking through the neighborhood just representing their community, our community,” said Anne Staskon, co-organizer of the Brookdale parade. “And its grown into an annual tradition where it’s an opportunity for all of us to show our support for each other, for our neighborhood, for our community, for Naperville. And to celebrate our country as a whole. It’s a great day and everybody just looks forward to it so it’s a tradition we want to continue.”
“I love having everybody come together,” said co-organizer of the Brookdale Parade Jacqui Erwin. “I love being able to put this on, it’s my favorite thing. I look forward to it every year. We start counting down the weeks starting in February.”
Knoch Knolls celebrated its 15th annual parade, as well as the reception that happens at the end at Knoch Knolls Commons. The reception included bouncy houses, ice cream, and music.
“I started out doing this for my kids when they were little and I wanted to do something for families,” said James Lawlor, organizer of the Knoch Knolls parade. “So we make it where we have a great reception at the end with bouncy houses and we have refreshments and the whole community participates. My most favorite thing is if you look around and you see, it brings the community together. I found that it really makes the people happy to be part of this community.”
Wil-O-Way‘s bike parade made a return after being canceled last year due to the pandemic. Families started the day decorating their bikes, before riding off in the parade.
“I’m really excited that we can bring this tradition back after missing it for the first time last year since the original event in 2000,” said Sarah Ziegler, organizer of the Wil-O-Way parade. “So really just glad to get back to normal, or at least something similar to normal [and] have something fun for the kids to do for the holiday.”
“Looking around I see all these new families and that’s what it’s all about,” said Lisa Johnson, who co-started the very first Wil-O-Way parade. “Our kids are grown up. At the time our kids were eight and they’re both turning 30 this year. It’s just fun to see it continue on with the new generations.”
“And that was our goal,” said Maureen Kaley, who co-started the very first Wil-O-Way parade. “Something that would be in place, that would carry on for generations and when these kids grow up they would love Naperville as much as we love Naperville.”
Happy Fourth of July!
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.
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