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updated: 8/10/2014 4:30 PM

Musical parade a highlight of Gurnee Days

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  • The Nuclear Reaction Drumline performs during the Gurnee Days parade Sunday along Old Grand Avenue. This year's parade theme was "A Lil' Bit of Country, A Lil' Bit of Rock and Roll."

       The Nuclear Reaction Drumline performs during the Gurnee Days parade Sunday along Old Grand Avenue. This year's parade theme was "A Lil' Bit of Country, A Lil' Bit of Rock and Roll."
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Three-year-old Isabella Ortiz and her mother, Emma, of Waukegan, wave at firefighters during the Gurnee Days parade Sunday along Old Grand Avenue. This year's parade theme was "A Lil' Bit of Country, A Lil' Bit of Rock and Roll."

       Three-year-old Isabella Ortiz and her mother, Emma, of Waukegan, wave at firefighters during the Gurnee Days parade Sunday along Old Grand Avenue. This year's parade theme was "A Lil' Bit of Country, A Lil' Bit of Rock and Roll."
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Characters representing Elvis and Dolly Parton make up the Honey Orthodontics float during the Gurnee Days parade Sunday along Old Grand Ave. This year's parade theme was "A Lil' Bit of Country, A Lil' Bit of Rock and Roll."

       Characters representing Elvis and Dolly Parton make up the Honey Orthodontics float during the Gurnee Days parade Sunday along Old Grand Ave. This year's parade theme was "A Lil' Bit of Country, A Lil' Bit of Rock and Roll."
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald staff report

It wouldn't be Gurnee Days without the annual parade, which stepped off Sunday featuring more than 80 entries marching down Old Grand Avenue.

Participants included local marching bands and country and rock 'n' roll-themed floats, the Nuclear Reaction Drumline and characters from Six Flags Great America.

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"It's pretty big with quite a few new participants," said parade coordinator Amanda LeFevers. "I'm excited. This year's theme is 'A Lil' Bit of Country and A Lil' Bit of Rock and Roll'."

Crowds lined Old Grand Avenue to view the parade and kids scrambled for candy.

"We see it every year. It's kind of a tradition," said Gurnee resident Pete Furlan. "It's great. The kids get lots of candy."

The parade is a highlight of the annual festival that celebrates the Gurnee community with music, carnival rides, fireworks and a Rib Fest that features a rib-eating contest.

Volunteers from the Gurnee Days Corporation plan, fund and organize the festival, along with the Gurnee Park District, the village of Gurnee and many local businesses.

The 42nd annual celebration began Thursday night with the festival's testimonial dinner honoring an individual or couple who has made a significant contribution to the community.

The 2014 honorees are James and Michelle Caldwell, who have had careers in law enforcement and credit unions, respectively. They have both been heavily involved in volunteering with many organizations, as well as the Gurnee Days Corporation.

The Caldwells served as grand marshals in Sunday's parade.

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