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The parade’s theme this year was hometown heroes, as a way to honor first responders and frontline healthcare workers for their countless sacrifices during the COVID pandemic.
It was also the first time in two years Waukegan has thrown a full parade and residents were thrilled to have it back.
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The parade was massive and rolled around 1 p.m. It featured over 100 different organizations, from the Waukegan High School JROTC, to the mayor’s office.
Even the popular Jesse White Tumbling Team made an appearance.
Waukegan residents and guests lined Sheridan Road as the floats rolled on by, serving as a sign that life seems to be returning to normal after the pandemic.
“It’s terrific. It’s really why we were excited to move here and get involved in the community and living right here on Sheridan Road, it’s nice it’s finally coming back. It’s a huge day for all the kids,” said parade-goer Ryan Remsing.
“It feels cool, it actually feels kind of crazy because we were in our house with the pandemic and everything and it feels really cool to be back out here,” added fellow spectator Sofia Delgado.
Due to the pandemic, the Waukegan Park District held virtual Fourth of July parades in 2020 and 2021. Those virtual parades reached over 18,000 people on Facebook and YouTube. But nothing beats an in-person parade, especially with this beautiful weather.