Local parades start Naperville’s Fourth of July celebration

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Naperville began this year’s Fourth of July celebration with several neighborhood parades, inviting neighbors and visitors to enjoy the simple pleasures of an old-fashioned tradition. 

Bike parade at Wil-O-Way

Residents ride into the holiday with the annual Wil-O-Way Park annual  Fourth of July bike parade.

“So today we decorated our bikes, our scooters, or whatever kind of vehicle we brought for the parade. Then everyone lined up and followed our Jurassic Park truck and a short parade around our neighborhood and we came back and had popsicles,” said Sarah Ziegler, president of the Wil-O-Way Homeowners Association.

Ziegler said the bike parade, a Wil-O-Way tradition since 2000, not only brings the residents together to celebrate America’s independence but also strengthens unity within the neighbors.

“So I think the guests actually enjoy connecting with each other the most. I think that they really like seeing their neighbors and saying ‘Hi’ to their friends and I think the kids really do like the popsicles,” said Ziegler.

Brookdale holds its 47th annual Fourth of July parade

The community of Brookdale decorated its cars in red, white, and blue and headed to Hill Middle School to kick off its 47th annual Fourth of July parade.

“We had our lineup, which started at 10:30 this morning, and we stepped off our parade at 11 a.m. and went through our neighborhood and then we ended up here at the pool to follow up with a picnic,” said Jacqui Erwin Brookdale Fourth of July parade coordinator.

Brookdale’s parade featured many notable guests in the lineup.

“We had our Boy Scout Troop 81 along with our mayor and city council, Indian Prairie School Board District, and a DuPage County judge,” said Erwin.

Erwin said the parade is a great way to gather the residents into one big celebration.

“I think it brings everybody out of the neighborhood. It brings everybody to one location. People get to meet each other, we’re here with a picnic, and everybody’s just having a great time.

Brook Crossing Estates celebrates the Fourth of July

Residents of Brook Crossing Estates came together at Clow Elementary School in the early morning of July 4th, to kick off the Independence Day festivities.

“We start off with the parade, and the kids decorate their bikes and their pets, and they walk in the parade. Then after that, we have a picnic and we have carnival games and water balloon toss, it’s kind of a good old-fashioned type of parade and picnic,” said Mary Nicholson, Brook Crossing Estates Fourth of July parade coordinator.

This year’s celebration continued with an annual tradition.

“We bring a character out every year. This year, we did Evel Knievel. So someone came in on a motorcycle in an Evel Knievel outfit and I think it’s fun for the kids,” said Nicholson.

Most importantly, Nicholson said the parade acknowledges those who sacrifice for the community.

“I just think it’s important to meet your neighbors and find out who’s military, who’s first responders because we acknowledge them in our parade and we thank them for their service,” said Nicholson.

Celebrating Independence Day at Knoch Knolls

Naperville’s Knoch Knolls subdivision celebrated its annual Fourth of July parade and reception to honor America’s birthday.

“The fire department signaled the start of the parade. There were approximately 600 participants, largely families either on bikes or walking or [with] strollers,” said Jim Lawlor, president of the Knoch Knolls Homeowners Association.

Lawlor said the Knoch Knolls parade heavily focused on fun for the local children.

“I like to have things for kids because I remember what my kids really liked, and they really liked these bouncy houses,” Lawlor said.

Naperville Mayor Scott Wehrli was at the celebrations at Brookdale, Brook Crossing Estates, and Knoch Knolls. As mayor, he was happy to see Naperville neighborhoods celebrate America’s independence as a community.

“Independence Day is a day that brings Americans together to celebrate their country and there’s nothing that says U.S.A. in America more than Independence Day,” said Wehrli.

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