Lake Bluff proudly presents ‘Embrace Freedom’ in a weekend of July 4th celebrations
July 2, 2011
It would seem impossible for the 4th of July to pass by unnoticed, yet few individuals realize that the twenty-one days from Flag Day on June 14th — anniversary of the official adoption of The “Stars and Stripes” — through July 4th, represent a United States Federal Observance known as Honor America Days. During the twenty-one day period Congress declared “that there be pubic gatherings and activities at which the people of the United States can celebrate and honor their country in an appropriate way.”
The culmination of Honor America Days will be celebrated in the Village of Lake Bluff on Monday July 4th, when its 4th of July Parade will once again draw hundreds of people to watch a small town honor the July 4th,1776 birthday of this nation.
This year’s 4th of July parade will mark Lake Bluff’s 101st. But there will be so much more to enjoy besides Lake Bluff’s outstanding parade. July 1 – 4 has been set aside as the Fourth of July “Embrace Freedom” Parade Weekend.
Often forgotten is the amount of work that must accompany an event before it is ready for presentation. I would be remiss not to thank all fifteen volunteer members of the Lake Bluff 4th of July Committee whose planning process started last September, headed by Deb Dintruff,President, and Terry Lesser, Vice President.
The following Lake Bluff organizations also deserve recognition for working with the Parade Committee and for independently conducting their own community 4th activities through volunteer services of their members: American Legion Post, 510; Lake Bluff Fire Department; Community Church of Lake Forest & Lake Bluff; Kiwanis Club of Lake Bluff; and Lake Bluff Park District.
Lake Bluff’s Fourth of July Weekend will kick off on Friday, July 1, when from 5:00 to 11:00 p.m. a Village Block Party will be held on the Village Green. And what a party it will be! On the Band Stand will be the “Take Note Quartet,” “Crooked Moon,” and ”Stayin’ Late.”
A “Taste of Lake Bluff” will feature eleven food stations hosted by local restaurants and food providers. Also available will be a Beverage Oasis selling beer, wine and beverages; a Soda Bar; a Photo Booth with take-home prints; and games for all ages. Most merchants will remain open far past their closing time so your Village Block Party attendance can further serve as a memorable shopping experience.
Ice cream and the 4th of July seem to be made for each other. On Saturday, July 2, at 2:00 p.m., participate in an Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Social on Lake Bluff’s attractive Village Green, reminiscent of a New England, colonial-style meeting place, made even more attractive by a gazebo which serves as a Lake Bluff’s land mark. Plan to bring your family, friends and neighbors for a time of fellowship, for who doesn’t like ice cream which is as American as apple pie!
An event that will please grownups is scheduled for the eve of the 4th. The first Firemen’s Ball dates back thirty-six years. As in past years it will be held at Blair Park from 7:00 – 11:00 p.m. If you haven’t already purchased your ticket, don’t despair. Tickets will be available at the door.
To avoid any traffic tie ups on the day of the 4th, do plan to arrive early, not only to find a good parking spot, but also to fuel your body for the morning ahead. What could be more satisfying than a Pancake Breakfast on Lake Bluff’s Village Green from 6:30 - 9:45 a.m. sponsored by the Kiwanis, their 40th, but who’s counting? Pancakes are a great way to start the 4th, and to people watch, as excited children and grownups arrive in mass from out-of-town to join Lake Bluffers in a short-term swell of its population to await the start of Lake Bluff’s 4th parade, which this year has a total of eighty-four entries.
A good place to be stationed at 9:40 a.m. is near the intersection of Scranton and Center Avenues so as not to miss the Opening Ceremonies. Joanna Rolek, Executive Director at Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Chamber of Commerce, will preside as Master or Ceremonies. Colonel Michael James Ouzts, Commanding Officer, Marine Air Control Group-48, Great Lakes Naval Base, will fill the role of Reviewing Officer.
A Lake Bluff tradition is to feature children in their own parade before the main parade. This year’s Children Parade will step off at 10:50 a.m. It’s always a heart-warming experience to see tiny tots accompanied by their parents, as well as older children, show off their decorated tricycles, bikes and wagons in keeping with the patriotic spirit of the day.
With the arrival of the bewitching hour of 10:00 a.m., sirens from police escorts will officially signal the start of Lake Bluff’s 101st July 4th parade to the delight of all assembled. This year’s Parade Marshals will be Members of Lake Bluff’s Open Lands Association (LBOLA).
Plan to remain after the parade to attend post-parade activities. A Family Fair will be held in Artesian Park from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with fun activities for children and food to purchase for the hungry. Children will delight in the noon Firehose Games provided by the Lake Bluff Fire Dept. For sports-minded individuals, plan to attend the Mixed Doubles Tennis Finals at 1:00 p.m.
By this time readers might be wondering about the cost of Lake Bluff’s 4th of July Weekend celebration, estimated at plus $75,000, and how it was financed?
No taxpayer funds were involved. Much of the needed revenue came from the following donors who stepped up to sponsor the events held during Lake Bluff’s July 4th weekend: Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital; Harris; Patch of Lake Forest/Lake Bluff; PNCBANK; The Roanoke Group; Terlato Wines International; make it better; Advantage Home Health Plus, Inc; Prudential; Newcomers’ Club of Lake Bluff and Lake Forest; and Coldwell Banker.
Parade Book advertising and family donations also helped fund Lake Bluff’s weekend of 4th activities.
Do plan to join Lake Bluffers as they invite you to celebrate their 101th 4th of July parade and all the festivities leading up to Independence Day. Do experience first hand the patriotism that abounds in such a small village that knows how to celebrate the 4th in a big way. You won’t be disappointed.