John Wredling normally celebrates his birthday at the middle school in St. Charles that bears his name. This year, he'll celebrate his special day with the entire city as grand marshal of the St. Patrick's Day parade. It's the 15th year for the parade. But 2014 will mark 100 years for Wredling.
The World War II veteran equipped B-17 bombers for their missions. But locally, he is best known as the former superintendent of St. Charles Unit District 303. Wredling served in that role from 1958 to 1972, a period of furious growth for the district. Wredling celebrates his birthday every year at the school, where he also says the Pledge of Allegiance on the first day of classes and speaks about the war on Veterans Day. This year, his birthday is the day after the parade.
The festivities will feature pipe and drum bands, local dance troupes, floats and various business and community entries. The St. Charles Veterinary Clinic is again sponsoring a contest for people to dress their dogs up in St. Patrick's Day finery and walk in the parade. The Arcada Theatre is also hosting a dance show for the troupes that will be in the parade at 10 a.m.
The parade route will run from Sixth Street to Fourth Avenue. All parade floats require an entry form, insurance and payment of an entry fee unless the organization has not-for-profit status.
The parade will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday. Main Street will be closed from Seventh Street to Fifth Avenue beginning at 1:45 p.m. Second Street will also be closed between State Street and Illinois Street. Police will post detours. Parking is prohibited on the parade and detour routes from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. There will be more parking restrictions throughout the downtown area leading up to and during the parade.
For more information about the parade visit: www.downtownstcharles.org/stpats.