With the theme "Star Spangled Hometown," the annual Libertyville Days Parade stepped off Saturday morning with Floyd Hoskins carrying the American Flag with VFW Post 8741 Honor Guard followed by more than 82 units.
More than 250 people per block lined Milwaukee Avenue in downtown Libertyville for parade according to Arvid Casler with the reserve department of the Lake County Sheriff's Department. "The crowd gets noticeably larger each year," said Casler who was blocking traffic for the parade. Floats and bands were the highlight of the parade, which is a popular attraction of the four-day Libertyville Days festival. The parade has been a part of the festival for more than 50 years, organizers said.
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Halfway throughout the one hour parade, Connie Kowal, director of the Recreation and Sports Complex, and a hand full of children walked the route under a 30 foot by 50 foot American flag as 15 other volunteers lined the exterior of the flag to carry it. As the late morning sunlight filtered red, white and blue colors through the nylon flag, Connor Spoden, 13, of Grayslake and his sister, Rory, skipping under the flag to keep up with the pace of the parade.
The parade stepped off from the Metra station and headed south along a crowded Milwaukee Avenue before finishing at Highland Middle School.
This year's parade grand marshal was World War II veteran Don Carter, who recently had an honorary street sign unveiled for him on Dover Court at Dymond Road.
The 89-year-old Carter has spent the last several years sharing stories with students and others about his 11 months in combat in places like Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge and Cherbourg, France. He is also active in various veterans and community activities and charities.
Other Libertyville Days festival highlights included the McNulty Irish Dancers, Whitey O'Day Irish folk music, a talent show and a fireman's rib cook off.