Hinsdale Parade Embodies our Country’s Classic Parade History

By HM staff

This year’s Hinsdale Fourth of July Parade was the largest and best-attended in years. We captured it for posterity in the pages that follow, and we think it is worth reflecting on why it was so refreshing, exuberant and just plain good old fun. First of all, we missed the parade. The pandemic has kept us from celebrating our nation’s birthday for too long. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Secondly, more people and groups than usual wanted to participate. They wanted to remind us of their presence and what makes up our community. This year, 52 groups signed up. Virtually every aspect was represented. There were marching bands. There were several live bands on flat-bed trailers. There was a group of ladies who performed synchronized routines beautifully. There were little kids in wagons being pulled by moms and dads.

At the other end of the scale, a happy clown on stilts was bigger than life. There were kids handing out candy to watchers. There were kids in cars waving and laughing and getting smiles back. There were dignitaries from Hinsdale and other communities who wanted to greet you. Retired military acknowledged cheers as did men and women currently serving. There were men in authentic military garb from the past. All reminded us that freedom is not free. Our police and firemen with their lights flashing and sirens blaring reminded us how important they are in keeping us safe. The Hinsdale Library invited you to read more. The Swim Club was out in force, as were other civic organizations that make our communities what they are. Politicians running for office took the occasion to remind us who they were. The Shriners drove their wonderful scale models to everyone’s delight. When the many American flags passed by, people stood up and cheered and saluted.

A big crowd estimated at 20,000, showed up to watch…and stayed for the whole hour and a half. We have never seen so many parents and strollers in one place at one time. Moms and Dads wanted the kids to see a bit of authentic Americana. Why such an outpouring, especially this year? In our judgment, not only did we miss the parade, but we wanted and needed something positive to celebrate. We wanted to get out from under the weight of today’s problems. There is no more positive thing to celebrate than the birth of our nation. We sometimes take it too much for granted. With all of its problems, our country is still the one people want to come to. July 4th this year, in Hinsdale, was a welcome reminder. Next year, Hinsdale celebrates 150 years. That parade will be one to remember as well.

*Photos by Marcello Rodarte