What Fourth of July celebration would be complete without the Westchester Neighborhood Parade??? The answer: NONE, of course!
So, we all made sure to get up early (errr...perhaps a little earlier than we needed to since the parade actually started at 11:00 instead of 9:30...right Sammy??)...found a spot near the parade route, and walked to Loyola Blvd.
Then, we staked out a prime spot--albeit a tad on the sunny side!--on the curb to view the festivities!
Essential to any true patriotic, as-American-as-apple-pie event, we began with the singing of our National Anthem!
From our position, you could hear the announcer loud and clear--which is important since during the occassional lull between entries, they play fun music intended to encourage self-amusement! (Go Julia...)
We had a ton of fun...and the parade seems to get bigger every year--with a wide variety of community businesses, clubs, performing groups, and schools represented!
In fact, not long after Paula and I had finished a soap-box rant among ourselves about what a travesty and missed opportunity it was that Westchester Lutheran School was lacking any representation...
we were both rightfully put in our place as--from a distance--we spotted a large banner boasting the very familiar WLS building fund slogan: "Realizing Our Dream...Building Our Future!"
Of course, seeing this caused us to break into squeals of surprised and enthusiastic shrieks and applause, which, no doubt, drew attention from puzzled onlookers.
The banner was followed by the unmistakable WLS landmark bell tower carillon---(reproduced at about 1/10 the size, of course)--perched on a platform of a flatbed truck along with a group of Wolfpack cheerleaders and a handful of Praise Team members (accompanied by Tom on the keyboard, of course!) belting out "Yes, Lord...Yes, Lord, Yes, Yes, Lord!" Naturally...we joined in at the top of our lungs as they passed by! Trust me...it was awesome! But you probably had to be there! ;-)
All in all--a great parade that inspired Dan to take his bottled up American Spirit and share it with the block by instigating a "Spontaneous Block Party"...
otherwise known as popping up a tent, setting up lawn chairs, and wheeling out your grill to cook hot dogs on your FRONT lawn as you simultaneously greet passing bike riders and dog walkers with a friendly, "Happy Fourth of July!!"
P.S. Still a little weirded out by the one lady who, as she was passing by and upon seeing Ashley, very cheerfully asked "Are you having Bar-B-Que'd BABY?!?" ...um...HUH??? Random...