Kids highlight of annual Fourth of July parade in Gary
By Michelle L. Quinn Post-Tribune correspondent July 4, 2014 10:08PM
Gary Fire Department Lieutenant Sandra McGuire hands fire helmets to children along the parade route in Gary on July 4, 2014. | Jim Karczewski/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 5, 2014 6:12PM
GARY — The city’s children took front and center during Gary’s annual Fourth of July parade on Friday morning.
PrimeTime, a dance team that recently took first place in a competition in Los Angeles, and West Side STEM Academy’s champion track and regional champion basketball teams were among the highlights featured in the parade. Other new groups, such as the Blue Belles and Ladies in Charge, a group of women who drive Dodge Chargers, rounded out the two-hour parade that culminated in a picnic in Bufffington Park.
Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson walked the length of the parade, as did other city officials such as City Councilman Ron Brewer and Gary Police Chief Wade Ingram Jr. Freeman-Wilson said she was pleased so many young people were represented in the event.
“There were a lot of seniors, too, and you knew they weren’t new because they camped under all the shade trees,” the mayor said.
What wasn’t represented well were the high school bands, resident Donnell Johnson said.
“I enjoyed the parade, but I missed seeing the school bands like Roosevelt,” he said.
Tonisia Henley, 7, and her cousin, Totiana Terry, 4, were showing Tonisia’s brother, William Anderson Jr., 3, the ropes of parade-going. After the picnic, the three got to ride horses in the park and noshed on $1 ice cream bars.
“My horse was kind of sweaty, and at least he didn’t make me sweaty,” Tonisia said. “Last year, I got my face painted, and I liked the dancers, too.”
Totianna’s mother, December Terry, and brother-in-law, Larry Dabadee, said they try to make the parade each year.