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updated: 5/16/2012 12:16 PM

Lombard Lilac Parade provides 'family fun atmosphere'

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  • The Lilac Queen and her court will make an appearance during the annual Lilac Parade, which is set to step off at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 20, from the corner of Main Street and Wilson Avenue in Lombard.

      The Lilac Queen and her court will make an appearance during the annual Lilac Parade, which is set to step off at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 20, from the corner of Main Street and Wilson Avenue in Lombard.
    Daily Herald file photo

  • Will the '50s be one of the "American Milestones" celebrated with a float in Lombard's Lilac Parade? The parade, showcasing all things iconic American, steps off at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 20, from the corner of Main Street and Wilson Avenue, where it will head north on Main until ending on Maple Street.

      Will the '50s be one of the "American Milestones" celebrated with a float in Lombard's Lilac Parade? The parade, showcasing all things iconic American, steps off at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 20, from the corner of Main Street and Wilson Avenue, where it will head north on Main until ending on Maple Street.
    Daily Herald File Photo

  • In some years, the Lilac Parade in Lombard steps off to cold, rainy weather, but Village President Bill Mueller said he always hopes for a pleasant day. This year's parade begins at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 20, at Main Street and Wilson Avenue.

      In some years, the Lilac Parade in Lombard steps off to cold, rainy weather, but Village President Bill Mueller said he always hopes for a pleasant day. This year's parade begins at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 20, at Main Street and Wilson Avenue.
    Daily Herald file photo

 
 

The Lewis and Clark expedition. The first TV. Route 66.

What those explorations, inventions and roads have in common is they're American icons, say organizers of the annual Lilac Parade in Lombard, scheduled to step off at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 20, from Main Street and Wilson Avenue.

"American Milestones" is the theme of this year's parade, which will be led by grand marshal Craig Kueltzo of Lombard.

"It's essentially anything that's been iconic in the U.S.," said Erica Fisette, chairwoman of the parade committee. "Anything the participants feel was an iconic period for American history, that's what we want to have in the parade."

Aside from dozens of floats decorated to mark different American milestones, Fisette said the parade will include marching bands from Glenbard East High School and Westlake Middle School. Other musical acts include the Crystal Lake Strikers drum line and a Dixieland band, which will play jazzy southern tunes while riding on a historic fire engine.

The parade will progress north on Main Street until turning briefly west on Maple Street, where the route ends. It usually takes about two hours for the entire parade to pass spectators at a given location.

Residents are encouraged to walk to the parade, as Main Street will be closed from Parkside Avenue to Central Avenue during the procession and no parking signs will be posted on many streets that cross Main on parade day.

Lombard Village President Bill Mueller said he always hopes for pleasant weather during Lilac Time, and especially on parade day. Instead, last year's parade day brought chilly temperatures and a misty rain. But Mueller said he couldn't travel the route in a car with so many spectators gathered to watch, so he got out and walked.

Fisette said the parade always draws a crowd as it symbolizes the end of two weeks of Lilac Time festivities. It's the last appearance during Lilac Time for the Lilac Queen and her court, and it's a chance for families to gather for an enjoyable afternoon, she said.

"We have a lot of dedicated Lombardians and people outside Lombard that love the family fun atmosphere that the parade provides," Fisette said.

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