Thanks for a great July 4 celebration 

To the Editor:

Thank you, Hyde Park for another wondrous 4th of July Parade and Fourth on 53rd Celebration.   It’s a unique Hyde Park celebration which welcomes all of our diverse cultures, all ages, and all abilities.

During our parade, many watchers talked to their new neighbors and caught up with lives of old friends. Politicians and nursery school children, athletes and seniors club members all marched together in the 4th of July Parade. People talked while marching and discovered things they had in common. People came to the parade on crutches, wheelchairs, bikes, trikes, floats, trucks and even on horseback. Bands played, sirens wailed, dogs barked, singers sang, and rappers rapped.   Bubbles and balloons floated above the parade while kids ran out to grab the candy thrown by the marchers.   It was exhilarating and fun for our diverse community.

The Old Fashioned 4th of July Parade and Fourth on 53rd is run by hundreds of mighty volunteers of all ages. They’re organized by the Nichols Park Advisory Council, the Fourth on 53rd Planning Committee and subcommittees, and the Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce, the Chicago Park District and over 60 participating organizations. 

I was inspired to see so many younger Hyde Parkers volunteering this year. They are our future.  Rather than naming names and risk leaving someone out, (you all know who you are) let me thank EVERYONE who volunteered. YOU made this annual community celebration a positive event.  Special thanks to Wallace Goode, HPCC Director and his staff for organizing and managing the event.

Thank you to Wendy Williams, Parade MC, for standing on a ladder in the hot sun during the parade and giving a positive shout out  to all the marching leaders and groups, both by names and  by deeds,  and then kept everyone quickly moving into the shade of Nichols Park.

Finally, a very special thank you to Stephanie Franklin, who has been the organizing force behind this community event since its beginning so many years ago.  Volunteers working together created this positive event that brought our community together and makes us a stronger community! 

Thank you all!

Louise McCurry