Petzel: A look back at Oak Lawn’s Fourth of July Parade
Cheryl Petzel Citizen Journalistemail@example.com July 19, 2012 2:58PM
Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph R. Harr stands with his father, William Harr, and his mother, Susan Sommerville, during Oak Lawn’s recent Fourth of July Parade. | Supplied Photo
Updated: August 23, 2012 6:08AM
July seems to be flying by, and even though it’s been a few weeks since July 4, I’m still feeling impressed with Oak Lawn’s Fourth of July parade. Not only were parade participants in great holiday spirit, but parade-goers were just as happy to celebrate such a meaningful day.
In spite of 100-degree temperatures that day, crowds still came out to enjoy the annual parade. Parade-goers and families came equipped with canopy tents, umbrellas, sunglasses, spray bottles, coolers and plenty of cool refreshments to beat the heat.
This year’s parade did not disappoint. It had everything from a local Marine hero to Appaloosa horses to stilt walkers. And, of course, no parade is complete without candy being tossed to the crowd.
The grand marshal was Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph Harr, who rode with his father, Bill Harr, and his mother, Susan Sommerville.
I had the honor to meet this humble young man. I thanked him not only for his service, but also for wearing his dress uniforms on such a hot day. Even Harr’s grandfather, Joe Harr, was in the parade representing, with others, the Oak Lawn Raiders Social Athletic Club.
U.S. Rep. Daniel Lipinski,
Oak Lawn Mayor Dave Heilmann and his family; Oak Lawn village manager Larry Deetjen, village trustees, village clerk Jane Quinlan and Congressional candidate Richard L. Grabowski were in the parade.
There also were plenty of Chicago team mascots, including Benny the Bull, Tommyhawk, South Paw, Sky Guy, Sparky and Staley.
Members from the Oak Lawn Fire Department made a point to stop at various stops along the parade route to let parade-goers know about the duck races it was sponsoring at Oak Lawn Lake. Rubber ducks were “adoptable” for $10, with proceeds benefitting the Children Museum in Oak Lawn.
As in past years, Erik and Carla Martin came to the parade to see their son, Rocky, who was not only playing drums in a marching band, but also was a candidate in Oak Lawn’s Got Talent, which was held later that same day.
Deborah Michicich and her sister, Aimee Gornik, brought their sons Sam and Jayden (respectively) to watch the parade along with family
members. To his family’s amusement, Sam’s favorite and most exciting parade float was the waste disposal trucks. Sam’s cousin, Jayden, seemed to take the heat and the parade in stride.
At dusk, Oak Lawn and surrounding communities’ residents enjoyed a fabulous fireworks show at Richards High School. A big thanks to all the public works employees and “village people” for their efforts to make this year’s parade a big hit.
As for the grand marshal, it was his first time home in eight months. Harr arrived home on Father’s Day and left to return to Camp Pendleton the day after the parade.
“It was just incredible to have him home, especially on Father’s Day,” said Bill Harr. “It was my best Father’s Day ever.”
Bill said he also was overwhelmed “by all the people that came out to welcome Joe home. It was very humbling.”
“We did so much while Joe was home,” Bill said. “We went to Eagle River for three days to fish, went to three White Sox games, went to a Jimmy Buffet concert, went to my Local 399 Union picnic; Joe was very busy. It was so great to have him home, but I miss him already.”
A special thank-you to Harr and his family for sharing their precious time during his time home to participate in the Oak Lawn Fourth of July Parade. Oorah!
Don’t forget, Five Guys Named Moe are scheduled to perform at 7 p.m. Sunday (weather permitting) on the village green, located east of the Municipal Center and north of Oak Lawn Public Library. Bring your chairs and blankets and enjoy a fun night out with your family and neighbors.
Here are this week’s featured celebrity announcements:
Happy first birthday to Jack LeCompte from grandma and grandpa LeCompte, grandma Laverne, his parents, Joseph and Joanne, and big sister, Julia. Happy birthday to Jasper Wills, who’s turning 5, from his parents, Becky and Jim, and proud grandparents.
Happy ninth birthday to Cayden Cadwell. Happy birthday to Sarah Truesdale, who’s turning 10, and to her sister, Kimberly, who’s turning 17, with love from their family.
Happy 12th birthday to Roxanne Thompson, from her parents, Mary and Ryan, and Boston. Birthday wishes go out to Cole Candos, who’s also turning 12, from his parents, Carrie and Don, and grandparents, Jean and Don.
Loving birthday wishes go out to Michelle Wills, as she turns 17, from her grandparents, Dave and Sandy Wills. Jessie Sharon’s parents and family wish her a happy 18th birthday.
Happy birthday to Rachel Pender, who’s turning 19, from her parents, Tina and Tim, and Christina. Danny McInerney is celebrating his 20th birthday. His mom, Mary Sue, family, Spike and Liz Beth send him their love.
Happy birthday to Michael Petzel, (yes, we’re related), who’s turning 21, and to his brother, Drew, who’s turning 24, from their dad, Fran and family. Danielle Cohen’s family wish her a happy 40th birthday. Happy birthday to Anne Casey, from her husband, John.
Birthday wishes also go out to Alida Carpenter, Cindy Ziebart and Marge Joy. Shannon Mathews sends birthday wishes to her husband, Chris Mathews. Birthday wishes also go out to Leo Gutchewesky, Bob Kuenster and Chuck Groebe.
Congratulations to Chris and Shannon (McKay) Mathews, who were married on July 13. Their family and friends wish them the very best as they begin their life together as husband and wife.
Until next time...