Arlington Heights' annual Fourth of July parade is so popular it has led to "blanket compromises" for spectators.
Hoping to ease, but not altogether eliminate, the practice of spectators reserving spots by laying blankets and other items along the route, village officials are asking parade goers to at least wait until 7 p.m. Sunday before marking their spots on parkways. Of course, they would prefer that residents just show up and find a spot on Monday, July 4, the day of the parade.
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The parade steps off at 10 a.m. Monday from the corner of Highland Avenue and Oakton Street. It will travel east on Oakton to Dunton Avenue, south on Dunton to Miner Street, and then east on Miner Street to Recreation Park, 500 E. Miner St., where Frontier Days festival is under way.
In the past, spectators have reserved seats well in advance of the parade along the public parkways with blankets and tarps secured by stakes or rocks; placing lawn chairs in an area; or by roping-off or taping off an area with stakes. These practices can damage parkway grass and are inconvenient for residents who wish to mow or water the parkways, or need to put their garbage out.
An additional concern is that certain areas of the parade route do not include a grassy parkway and the placement of blankets or other items can impede pedestrians using the sidewalks.
The parade is organized by Frontier Days, Inc., a volunteer group of over 500 residents, which has planned the annual Frontier Days celebration for more than 35 years.