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posted: 5/17/2013 6:00 AM

Lombard's Lilac Parade strolls through the decades

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  • The Lilac Queen always is featured during the Lilac Parade. This year's parade steps off at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 19, from Main Street and Wilson Avenue in Lombard.

    The Lilac Queen always is featured during the Lilac Parade. This year's parade steps off at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 19, from Main Street and Wilson Avenue in Lombard.
    Daily Herald File Photo


Adults attending this year's Lilac Parade in Lombard will be sure to see something they recognize from years past.

The 59th annual parade's theme is "Nostalgia from the '60s, '70s and '80s," which parade committee chairwoman Erica Fisette said will appeal to younger and "more experienced" parade viewers.

"We're sure to see some tie-dye and some peace signs and maybe some leg warmers for the '80s," Fisette said. "It should be a fun parade this year."

Stepping off at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 19, on the last official day of the 83rd annual Lilac Time festival, the parade traditionally draws crowds along Main Street from Wilson Avenue north to Maple Street, where it turns and heads briefly east. The route is otherwise known as "Glenbard East High School to Dairy Queen."

Those turning out for the annual event will see parade staples like the Lilac Queen, marching bands, clowns, a roller derby team and the Jesse White Tumblers, as well as a few changes and additions this year. The Lombard Fire Department is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2013, so Fisette said its presence at the front of the procession will be heightened.

"We'll have antique firetrucks and Clydesdales," Fisette said. "We're really looking forward to that because typically the firetrucks kick off the parade, but they're going to have quite a number of units this year."

The Helen M. Plum Memorial Library will be connecting the theme of the Lilac Parade to the theme of its summer reading program, "Have Book, Will Travel," said Pam Rivet, marketing assistant.

"Our title of our float is 'Have Book, Will Time Travel,'" Rivet said. "We will have indications of books you could have gotten in (the) '60s, '70s and '80s. If I can find one, we'll use a lava lamp and fun things that will remind people of what that era was about. But we're all about books."

The parade also will have three announcing stations along the route, an increase from the lone location where entries were announced in the past. Fisette said two additional locations were added last year to keep more parade viewers informed about what they were seeing.

"We spread out the announcing to keep the parade watchers engaged so they know about the history and the participants," she said.

Those wanting to hear units announced as they pass by can sit near Lombard Pharmacy at Harrison Road and Main Street; at the central announcing station at the Colonial Commons shopping center near Hickory and Main streets; or at the intersection of Main and Maple streets where the route turns east.

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