Broadway packed for Gary parade on hot day
By Lisa DeNeal Post-Tribune correspondent July 4, 2012 6:42PM
Children frantically pick up candy thrown to them by passing parade participants at the Gary 4th of July parade on Wednesday, July 4, 2012. | Jim Karczewski~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 4, 2012 8:42PM
GARY — Folks staked out shady spots or brought their own shade along 13th and Broadway for Gary’s Fourth of July parade on Wednesday.
Vicci Gearon and Brenda Peaches of Gary were equipped with chairs and a standing patio umbrella to cover them from the already hot morning.
“I am here every year. I never miss a parade,” Gearon said.
Peaches said she enjoys the parades so she can see the school bands and the drill teams.
“I was a member of the Roosevelt JROTC drill team back in the day and was a part of the parade,” she said. “The bands and the drill teams were the best part.”
Opening the parade with the recording of the late Whitney Houston’s rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner,” Gary Police, Indiana State Police and the Lake County Sheriff’s department escorted area city officials, including Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, who hugged citizens and took pictures along the route before heading to the viewing stand at 13th and Broadway.
After getting a multitude of responses from asking who was barbecuing and what time was dinner, Freeman-Wilson wished the crowd a happy holiday: “Today we celebrate the greatest country in the United States. We should not take freedom for granted.”
For this parade, Broadway was filled with floats, car and motorcycle clubs, area churches, community organizations, city, county and state officials and more waving to the crowds and passing out candy, flags and fliers.
Highlights included a routine from the Army of the Lord Drill Team, the I Love Cadillac Love Club and the McKinley Boys Drum Line.
Ten-year-old parade viewers Aaryanna Grant and Aaron Chance of Gary, enjoyed the festivities, especially collecting candy and free stuff from various floats.
“I think the parade is awesome. I really liked the drill teams,” Grant said.
“I liked the drill teams too. Everything was fun,” Chance said.
The parade was sponsored by the Roosevelt College and Career Academy and J Clark Aviation.