Evanston Independence Day Parade in Chicagoland

The Fourth of July parade in Evanston, Illinois. (Image: David Yang)

The Fourth of July is a time for family, fun, and fireworks. Communities all across America celebrate the day with fun-runs, 3-legged races, and pie eating contests. Another not-to-be-missed activity for many is the Independence Day parade. And Evanston, Illinois, located just north of Chicago, hosts a good one.

(Image: David Yang)
A colorful parade entry. (Image: David Yang)
(Image: David Yang)
Uncle Sam greets the crowd. (Image: David Yang)
(Image: David Yang)
Kids having fun with slime. (Image: David Yang)

The parade in Evanston has been a tradition for almost 100 years. It was started by the North End Mother’s Club in 1922. After a child was injured setting off fireworks in 1921, the mothers got together to organize a day full of fun that would be safe and have supervised activities for the kids.

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Receive selected content straight into your inbox.

75
Evanston’s parade was founded by the North End Mother’s Club in 1922. (Image: David Yang)
(Image: David Yang)
A lemonade stand along the parade route. (Image: David Yang)

Locals have such enthusiasm for the parade that they mark out prime viewing spots along the route by setting up tarps, folding chairs, or lawn furniture well in advance. The Evanston City Council had to pass an ordinance in 2004 setting a limit on how early these reserved spots could be claimed. Now, instead of weeks in advance, people are only allowed to begin claiming spots at 6 a.m. on July 1.

(Image: David Yang)
Locals mark out prime viewing spots along the route by setting up tarps, folding chairs, or lawn furniture well in advance. (Image: David Yang)
(Image: David Yang)
A good spot to watch the parade. (Image: David Yang)

This year’s parade theme, “A Salute to Community Volunteers,” was quite fitting. The parade itself can be held thanks to the all-volunteer Evanston 4th of July Association, which seeks out sponsors every year, ensuring that no taxpayer money is needed to fund it or the other activities they organize.

(Image: David Yang)
The Girl Scouts joined the parade. (Image: David Yang)

Chicago is a city of neighborhoods. Some people claim it has over 200 of them. Areas like Chinatown, Greektown, Little Italy, and the Mexican-American community of Pilsen are well-known, and this diversity could be seen in the parade’s entries.

The parade had just over 100 entrants, including the Evanston Escola de Samba, winner of the 2018 President’s Cup for the best overall group. This crowd favorite performed Brazilian music and danced along the parade route. This year marked their 10th appearance in the parade. Matthew Rarey, a drummer with the group, told The Daily Northwestern: “It’s really necessary that (on) the Fourth of July we can celebrate the multiple lines of cultural influence to this country.”

(Image: David Yang)
The Evanston Escola de Samba is a crowd favorite. (Image: David Yang)
(Image: David Yang)
An equestrian unit in the parade. (Image: David Yang)
(Image: David Yang)
‘Sparky,’ the parade mascot. (Image: David Yang)

It has been 243 years since representatives from the original 13 colonies voted to declare their independence from Great Britain. The holiday serves not only as a celebration of freedom, but also as a reminder of the people who fought for it. Chicago resident, Dave Taub, put it this way: “It’s the beginning of our independence, and it’s really important and symbolic that we come out and celebrate it… I think about all of my relatives and ancestors, and I’ve got cousins overseas who are officers in the Army in Korea. I think of those guys, and hopefully they’ll be safe today.” (CBS)

Cheering for the red, white, and blue. (Image: David Yang)
Cheering for the red, white, and blue. (Image: David Yang)

Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our weekly email

Recommended Stories

White radishes.

Foods to Keep Your Lungs Healthy in Winter

The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which originated in Wuhan, is spreading fast. Apart from preventive measures ...

A black hole consuming its companion star.

Black Holes Eat Stars in Variable Mood Lighting

When a black hole chews up a star, it produces visible light or X-rays, but ...

A black hole near a red giant star.

Scientists May Have Just Discovered a New Class of Black Holes

Black holes are an important part of how astrophysicists make sense of the universe — ...

A young Chinese girl wearing a mask.

Liberation From the Wuhan Epidemic

The Wuhan coronavirus epidemic in mainland China is spreading across the land at an alarming ...

A patient with caronavius.

China Coronavirus Could Trigger Pandemic: Harvard Epidemiologist

Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding, a Harvard epidemiologist and health economist, has warned that the Chinese coronavirus ...

Chinese wearing masks.

How Is the Coronavirus Spreading Across the Globe?

The first case of a novel strain of coronavirus has been confirmed in the United ...

Chiang Kai-shek.

How Formal Education in China Was Ruined by Communism

Before 1949, Chinese society, especially university education in China under the Republic of China, enjoyed ...

Dominic Barton.

Canada’s Ambassador to China Says Relations Chilled After Huawei Executive’s Arrest

Dominic Barton, Canada’s ambassador to China, recently testified before the special House of Commons committee ...

A young Chinese boy.

A Sordid Tale of Raising a Child in Communist China

Kirsty Needham is a journalist who works as the China correspondent for The Sydney Morning ...

Send this to a friend