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updated: 7/1/2011 2:55 PM

Lisle parade returns to Main Street

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  • Lisle's Fourth of July parade is making its return to downtown Lisle for the first time since 1973 with a southbound march down Main Street, from School Street to Jonquil Avenue.

      Lisle's Fourth of July parade is making its return to downtown Lisle for the first time since 1973 with a southbound march down Main Street, from School Street to Jonquil Avenue.
    Daily Herald file photo

 
 

Probably the most impressive aspect of Lisle's Fourth of July parade is that it's happening at all.

The annual event was nearly canceled this year after Eyes to the Skies organizers learned the procession couldn't use its usual route through Community Park because of the reconstruction of the Short Street bridge.

"When we heard that there was going to be no Fourth of July parade, we said, 'That's unacceptable,'" said Tom Freeman, a member of the committee that plans the village's Memorial Day parade.

So Freeman and his fellow committee members took on the added responsibility of planning the July 4 parade as well. They received help from various community leaders and Lisle officials to move the parade to Main Street in downtown.

"There's a lot of community-minded people in this town," said Freeman, fire chief of the Lisle-Woodridge Fire Protection District. "When there's a cause, they rally together. Everybody came to the forefront."

Thanks to those efforts, a Fourth of July parade will march through downtown Lisle for the first time in 38 years. It's a return to the past that many are anxious to see, according to Freeman.

"The merchants are looking forward to it," Freeman said. "The residents are looking forward to it. We must have a parade in recognition of Independence Day."

Representatives from Ross Bishop VFW Post 5696 in Lisle will lead the procession, which steps off at 11 a.m. Monday, July 4, from the Lisle village hall, 925 Burlington Ave. About three dozen groups are expected to participate, including Boy Scout troops, local politicians and civic organizations.

"It's amazing how many people responded," Freeman said.

Something unique to the parade this year is a bicycle decorating contest. Children 12 years old and younger are encouraged to bring their decorated bikes to the village hall between 10:30 and 10:45 a.m. before the parade. The three kids with the most patriotic bikes will be awarded prizes.

With the theme of "Red, Bike and Blue," all the bicycle riders and others are encouraged to join the parade.

"We don't want to see anybody on the curb," Freeman said. "You are welcome to watch, but we want you to participate."

Unlike the silent and solemn nature of a Memorial Day parade, Freeman said the Fourth of July parade is going to have a marching band, police and fire vehicles with sirens and flashing lights, and plenty of candy being tossed to the crowds.

"If no one else makes noise, we will," said Freeman, referring to the fire trucks.

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