Many reasons, ways to celebrate at Buffalo Grove Days parade
While throngs enjoyed marching bands, bagpipers, bicycle stunt riders and other entertainment, there was more to the annual Buffalo Grove Days parade Sunday.
It served as a backdrop for families and friends gathering for late-morning parties on their driveways, with mimosas and beer part of the beverage programs at some homes.
The long-running event also afforded a prime opportunity for promotion of the inaugural BG Pride parade set for next year.
About 85 entries were in Sunday's parade, which started on Bernard Drive at Arlington Heights Road and worked east to Raupp Boulevard for a turn north to the end at St. Mary's Parkway. The grand marshal was Steve Trilling, a Buffalo Grove trustee for 15 years before stepping down last year to move to Northbrook.
"It was wonderful," said Trilling, who lived in Buffalo Grove for 31 years. "One, I got to see a lot of people I know lining the parade route and it was really nice to see them. Secondly, we're getting older. I raised my family here and it's just nice to see the families of families."
For the 14th consecutive year, Justin and Melissa Kotzenberg hosted a party at their Raupp Boulevard house near the parade finish. Along with pulled pork that one of Justin's friends began cooking at 6 a.m. and drinks, guests availed themselves of foosball on the driveway or a game of bags on the front lawn.
Melissa Kotzenberg said guests don't even need invitations anymore because they've been coming for so long and all know what to bring to the party. She said the parade was a selling point for the home.
"We had two really young boys," she said. "We found out the parade came through the neighborhood and we met a big group of friends and raised our kids together. And we've been doing this (party) every year since."
Not only did BG Pride march in Sunday's parade, but 17-year-old Buffalo Grove High School senior Grace Gayhart and her mother, Lori, also sold T-shirts, magnets and other items from a table on their driveway as a fundraiser for the organization.
"It's hard for me to have time to give back to the community, so I thought, OK, I'll participate in this," Lori Gayhart said. "And I offered my driveway and my services for advertising and selling."
Molly Pinta, a student at Twin Groves Middle School in Buffalo Grove, sparked the BG Pride parade idea.
After walking the Buffalo Grove Days route, Molly's mother, Carolyn Pinta, said BG Pride likely will march down Checker Drive and Old Checker Road, ending with a rally and possibly a small festival June 2, 2019, at Willow Stream Park on the village's north end.
BG Pride already has sponsors, as evidenced by the companies' logos accompanied by a rainbow-colored buffalo on a banner that was toted past the crowd. Some people walking in or watching Sunday's parade wore BG Pride shirts and "Make America Kind Again" hats.
"We have had groups from all over reach out, that they would love to come," Pinta said. "One place we've started already is with the local gay-straight alliances at all these different high schools making sure they'll want to (participate), and the bands. We already have five (Jewish) temples and at least one church that are going to walk."