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updated: 7/10/2011 5:54 PM

Parade caps West Chicago Railroad Days

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  • Still sitting after West Chicago's Railroad Days parade passed by Sunday, residents Rich Kassanits and Mark Patenaude relax in the shade on a hot summer day.

       Still sitting after West Chicago's Railroad Days parade passed by Sunday, residents Rich Kassanits and Mark Patenaude relax in the shade on a hot summer day.
    Rick Majewski | Staff Photographer

  • Elias Hewera, 2, watches as Medinah car club rides by in minicars at the West Chicago Railroad Days Parade Sunday.

       Elias Hewera, 2, watches as Medinah car club rides by in minicars at the West Chicago Railroad Days Parade Sunday.
    Rick Majewski | Staff Photographer

  • Medinah members in the West Chicago Railroad Days parade ride in circles as Nina Komaniecki, 5, of West Chicago waves them on Sunday.

       Medinah members in the West Chicago Railroad Days parade ride in circles as Nina Komaniecki, 5, of West Chicago waves them on Sunday.
    Rick Majewski | Staff Photographer

 
 

As far as Roberto Lopez was concerned, he had the best seat in the house.

Lopez sat in a shady spot on Arbor Avenue near Elmwood Avenue in West Chicago Sunday afternoon, waiting for the Railroad Days parade to march by.

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"It's hot out here today, but I feel good," he said. "I've got this nice spot under a tree, there's a breeze, and my kids are excited about the parade. Not bad, I'd say."

The annual West Chicago Railroad Days festival concluded Sunday. The four-day event included a carnival, a car show, an art fiesta and performances by bands such as The English Beat and Ralph Covert & the Bad Examples.

The final day of the fest got under way with the parade, which stepped off at Conde and Joliet streets, and then marched to Reed-Keppler Park, where the bulk of Railroad Days events took place.

The theme of the parade this year was "Honor and Sacrifice," and parade watchers on Arbor Avenue stood up and cheered when VFW Post 6791 and other patriotic groups went by.

"We have to remember that freedom isn't free," said resident Jack Stanley after giving local veterans a round of applause.

After the parade, thousands of people went to the park to enjoy one last day of community fun. The live entertainment scheduled for Sunday night included a performance by Heartache Tonight, an Eagles tribute band.

"It's just a fun way to spend a weekend in your hometown," Lopez said.

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