Saturday, June 29, 2024

Midway Chamber of Commerce's Patriot's Day Parade a Big Success

By Tim Hadac
Managing Editor
Southwest Chicago Post

Once again, the Patriot's Day Parade on Archer Avenue was a success.

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 rescued by the Midway Chamber of Commerce.

As usual, the stars of the show included the boys and girls, moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas at the curb--so the photos the SWCP has are heavy on spectators and light on actual parade units.

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

We also commend the MCC for choosing Charlie Johnson, longtime commander of the Rhine VFW Post 2729, as parade grand marshal. It's hard to think of a more deserving man or woman in the community. Johnson rode in style--a cherry-red 1969 Firebird owned by and chauffered by Geno Randazzo of All Exterior Contractors.

The Southwest Chicago Post had freelance photographer Steve Neuhaus out there with cameras. This year we are publishing far more photos than in years past, if only because we have more--thanks to folks who generously shared their shots, including Ana Corral, Toni LaRocco, Angie Lopez, Nicole Herrera, Kristin Borek and others--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.

If you have photos of people and parade units not seen here, please email your best shots to, and chances are, we'll add them to this collection.

So here are a bunch of parade photos--in no particular order, of parade units and people at the curb. Enjoy!

May your Independence Day be meaningful, joyful and safe.

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