The rain will have a harder time stopping Dundee Township's Memorial Day parade this year.
If thunder crashes and lightning flashes as they did in last year's downpour, the march will be postponed two hours. It is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. as it does every year on Sunday, the day before the holiday.
If it rains, it will begin at 4 p.m. If it is raining at 4 p.m., then organizers will decide whether to host it at all.
Stormy weather last Memorial Day weekend interrupted a tradition that hasn't been broken in 40 years, said organizer Bobbie Andresen.
West Dundee's Tri-Cities Evergreen VFW post sponsors the parade. Its members called it off because of the lightning, Andresen said.
"They were concerned with the marchers' safety. By 4 o'clock, it had stopped raining. We could have held it then, but we didn't have a backup plan," she said.
This year, more than 50 marching units have already registered for the parade. Many are businesses whose owners see the parade as a means to free advertising.
"We also have a few politicians and local groups registered," she said. "There's more registered this year than last year."
Marchers start at Van Buren Street in East Dundee and walk west along Route 72 to Cal Grafelman Park in West Dundee. At the park, prayers will be recited, and after them, VFW Commander Erick Seals will be the guest speaker.
To register for the parade, call Andresen at (847) 224-8683.
On the next day, VFW members will conduct a ceremony on the Route 72 bridge over the Fox River. After it, they will drive to Dundee Township Cemetery East along Route 25 in East Dundee and conduct another ceremony.
Then, they drive to the River Valley Memorial Gardens cemetery along Route 31 in West Dundee and conduct another ceremony.
Gerard Dziuba writes about Dundee Township and Gilberts. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.