Saturday, July 3, 2021

Patriot's Day Parade Returns, Thanks to Garfield Ridge Chamber of Commerce

By Joan Hadac
Editor and Publisher
Southwest Chicago Post

After a pandemic-driven absence in 2020, the annual Patriot's Day Parade made a triumphant reappearance on Thursday, July 1.

The parade was founded in 1969 by Chicago Park District official William O. Lipinski, who would later serve as 23rd Ward alderman and then U.S. congressman. The parade was one of a variety of ways Lipinski--fiercely patriotic--tried to instill love of country and community in the neighborhoods he served.

When Lipinski left office in early 2005 and was succeeded by his son, Congressman Dan Lipinski, the younger Lipinski became the parade's host. With Dan Lipinski's departure from Congress in early 2021, the parade became an orphan until it was adopted by the Garfield Ridge Chamber of Commerce.

That said, the former congressman and his wife, Judy, walked in the parade--smiling and spreading good cheer to all.

Also bringing smiles to many were members of Kennedy High School's undefeated 2021 championship football team, who marched as a unit and accepted the applause of many.

And as usual, the stars of the show included the boys and girls, moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas at the curb--so our photographers, Cosmo Hadac and Matthew Salinas, had to move quickly to photograph the parade units and spectators, which ran from Archer and Lotus to Wentworth Park.

The community owes a big, big debt of gratitude to GRCC President Mary Ellen Brown, as well as the GRCC officers, board of directors and members. This parade matters--not only to Garfield Ridge, but the entire Midway area--and the GRCC rescued the parade when no one else did.

This was the ninth year the Southwest Chicago Post was out there with cameras. This year we are publishing far more photos in years past, if only because we have more but also because we expect this post to remain live for years to come--something folks may always go back to and look at with a nice sense of nostalgia.

So here are a bunch of parade photos--in no particular order, of parade units and people at the curb. Also included are photos we borrowed from the Garfield Ridge Chamber of Commerce and other sources. Enjoy!

May your Independence Day be meaningful, joyful and safe.

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