Elgin's "Light Up the Day" parade cheers up residents, participants
The city of Elgin's first "Light Up the Day" parade to cheer up people during the COVID-19 pandemic's "stay at home" order did just that -- for residents and participants alike.
Vehicles from police, fire and public works, plus local tow truck companies, took part in Tuesday's 40-minute-or-so "socially distant" parade through neighborhoods just east of downtown.
Some people watched through their windows, while others came outside, like Guadalupe Martinez and her husband, Luis Chagolla, along with their daughters, ages 3 and 5 months. The family made signs that said "Thank you, hands down you're the best."
"I loved it," said Martinez, who found out about the parade on the police department's Facebook page. "My daughter enjoyed it. We made a little sign to make sure they knew we appreciate it."
Jessica Berg and her daughter, Simona, 7, echoed the sentiment.
"We came out because we wanted to support the firefighters and public works and everybody that's doing a great job right now," Berg said. "It was something fun to get my daughter out of the house and still social-distance."
Kori Sabatino watched from her porch with her daughter, Charlee Ash, 6. "It was really nice to have something to look forward to," she said.
Elgin Police Cmdr. Jim Bisceglie said the police department came up with the idea and the others joined in enthusiastically.
"It went great. It actually went a lot better than I thought it would," he said. "There were tons of people. I think this was uplifting, not only for the community but for the officers involved."
The plan is to hold a parade at 1 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday in neighborhoods throughout the city during the stay at home order, which has been extended through April 30, Bisceglie said. For more information, visit the police Facebook page at Facebook.com/ElginPolice.