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updated: 7/13/2014 4:59 PM

Parade celebrates West Chicago's railroad tradition

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  • A huge American flag is carried Sunday in the West Chicago Railroad Days Parade by supporters of area Republican candidates.

       A huge American flag is carried Sunday in the West Chicago Railroad Days Parade by supporters of area Republican candidates.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Angelica Gallegos, Miss Fiesta Patrias 2013, rode a horse Sunday in West Chicago's annual Railroad Days Parade.

       Angelica Gallegos, Miss Fiesta Patrias 2013, rode a horse Sunday in West Chicago's annual Railroad Days Parade.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Angelo O'Neill, 3, of West Chicago keeps a keen eye out for candy Sunday as the annual Railroad Days Parade passes by in West Chicago.

       Angelo O'Neill, 3, of West Chicago keeps a keen eye out for candy Sunday as the annual Railroad Days Parade passes by in West Chicago.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • The West Chicago Community High School marching band performs Sunday in the annual Railroad Days Parade.

       The West Chicago Community High School marching band performs Sunday in the annual Railroad Days Parade.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Students in the West Chicago Elementary School District 33 summer science camp march Sunday in the annual Railroad Days Parade.

       Students in the West Chicago Elementary School District 33 summer science camp march Sunday in the annual Railroad Days Parade.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Video: Railroad Days Parade

 
 

Railroad Days has been a tradition in West Chicago for more than four decades, and for most of those years longtime resident Barbara Toney has had a front-row seat to the festival's parade as it marched past her home.

Though her children who watched alongside her over the years are now grown, a new generation of young parade watchers have taken their place in front of Toney's residence.

"We love it because it is part of our tradition," she said.

The parade kicked off Sunday afternoon from Ingalton and Elmwood avenues to the thrill of those lining the parade route. Among the entries and marchers were politicians, fire trucks, floats, the West Chicago Community High School marching band, Miss Fiesta Patrias 2013 and Shriners riding all for forms of transportation from horses to motorized beverage coolers.

Residents young and old lined the street finding shady spots when possible and cheering on those marching in the parade. Children eagerly waited with bags and hats in hand for any marchers tossing candy their way.

The parade coincides with the annual Railroad Days festival at Reed Keppler Park that included food, carnival rides, entertainment and fireworks.

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