James Harris and his family usually attend the Fourth of July parade in their hometown of Wheaton, but on Wednesday they decided to bike to Glen Ellyn after the Wheaton parade was canceled due to the damage from Sunday's storm.
"We were disappointed, but we understand that with the weather and the conditions, that's all they can do," Harris said.
So what did they think of Glen Ellyn's parade? "Less politicians, and more candy," said his wife, Christy Harris, as their children Brendan, 9, and Ryan, 7, gathered plenty of the latter.
Thousands lined the streets of downtown Glen Ellyn for the noon parade, many having claimed their spot hours earlier. The size of the crowd seemed to be the same as in years past, a Glen Ellyn police spokesman said.
Glen Ellyn resident Lora Bak came with a group of 10 families whose kids attended preschool at the Glen Ellyn Park District. "We have a whole system, people agreed to come here at 5 a.m.," said Bak, who was sporting a red-white-and-blue look that included her clothes, nails, necklace and headband.
Julie Allman said her family has relied on two generators to cool off their Glen Ellyn home since Sunday's storms. Despite nearly 100-degree heat on Wednesday, being in the shade under a tent, enjoying a gentle breeze, felt cooler than it was at home, Allman said.
Fourth of July has a special significance for Ron Miranda, of West Chicago, who on that day 40 years ago came to the United States from India. Now a U.S. citizen, Miranda always comes to the parade in Glen Ellyn, where his wife's family is from. "The parade is a tradition now," he said.