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.
If you goIf you go
What: Lilac Parade
When: 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 20
Where: Begins at Main Street and Wilson Avenue, heads north on Main until turning west on Maple, where the route ends
Info: (630) 415-2079 or lombardlilacparade.com
"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.