The Lake in the Hills Sunset Festival Parade

What great timing I had. As I was arriving the parade was about ready to kick off and a helpful policeman, after figuring out that I really didn’t want to head down the street toward the front of the parade, pointed me to the parking area.

I could hear the sirens as I walked to the parade route.

As I was walking toward the street, I could see healthy crowds lining the street.

I made it just in time for the color guard.

Most people were standing in respect to the American Flag.

Turstee Denise Barreto throws candy to the crowd.

Considering the aversion that Crystal Lake has to throwing candy, I was surprised that Lake in the Hills allows it. There may have been other elected village officials, but, not knowing most of the players, I couldn’t pick them out. Certainly, there were not cars with signs, as was the case in Algonquin’s Founders Days Parade.

Next came the Sheriff’s contingent.

The leader is from the Sheriff's Department.

First four motorcycles. Two from the Sheriff’s department and two, I believe, from the Conservation District.

Sheriff Keith Nygren rode the parade route with his wife.

Next came Sheriff Keith Nygren and his wife Marge. Nygren seems to have lost some weight over the summer.

Part of Sheriff's Keith Nygren's parade entry.

Behind Nygren’s car was the Crime Prevention Trailer, pulled by the Community Relations vehicle.

The Sinful Saints blasted away on top of an old fire engine.

What was behind wasn’t political, except for the trombone player in the Dixieland band called Sinful Saints. He’s Republican precinct committeeman Tom McDermott.

A Mark Kirk sticker guy came past in a lull in the parade. No sign of Kirk’s contingent, however.

Can you tell the wind was blowing at the parade? The tee shirt says, "I want an independent judiciary in McHenry County." Naturally, there was a pitch for Sally Wiggins' election.

Another sticker person wasn’t far behind. By the time I figured out that she was passing out stickers for Sally Wiggins, the Independent candidate for Circuit Court Judge, the young woman had passed me. So I called out and asked if I could take a photo of her sweat shirt. I now see it was a tee shirt. You see the result above.

Look at the Cub Scout in the middle. He has both feet off the ground.

This group of Cub Scouts deserves a notice for its sheer exuberance. I think it’s Pack 458 of Huntley, but the photo really doesn’t have a good view of the number.

Here's the Jaycees float announcing their intention of creating the world's largest soda float on Sunday at the Sunst Festival.

The Jaycees, Lake in the Hills, I would presume, are trying for a world record soda float on Sunday. Really. That’s what the sign says.

The Summers Academy of Dance performer provided this wonderful shadow.

At this point, I found a young person who had been “stickered.” There was one for Mark Kirk and another for Sally Wiggins.

I have never heard of the Hearts of Gold organization, which seems to be based in Algonquin, but since many people are in hard times, I thought you ought to know about it.

The leading edge of the County Democrats’ contingent soon came into view.

The Democrats came into sight. A big red convertible with flags flying was surrounded by marchers wearing tee shirts.

It seemed to be a family affair.

Others carried yard signs and, I’m guessing, passed out candy.

Mike Mahon emphasized that he was from Lake in the Hills with everyone he spoke to.

Next came the Democratic Party candidate for Sheriff. He introduced himself and told those lining the parade route that he was from Lake in the Hills.

Mike Mahon was falling behind his parade contingent as he worked the crowd.

It is rare for a candidate to get beyond the front row of parade watchers, but Mahon was doing it on the south side of the street.

Riding on a motorcycle is Democratic Party congessional candidate George Gaulrapp. Handing out pamphlets with him is Democratic Party Chairman Mike Bisset.

State Rep. David Miller, who is running for State Comptroller, had a couple of young men in the parade, so, although I thought the Democrats were gone, I saw more were coming.

The Democratic Party banner has its web site address,, and phone number, 815-788-9540.

And, from the banner being carried by Mary Erlenborn and Mike Bisset’s wife, Paula Yensen, it appears that what I earlier thought was the Democratic Party float was really one for Mike Mahon.

Mark Booras, I figured out, is the Democratic Party candidate running against McHenry County Board Chairman Ken Koehler and McHenry County College Board member Donna Kurtz.

A name I didn’t know came into view: Mark Booras.

“Are you Mark Booras?” I asked. Turns out the man carrying the sign was his brother, so I asked if he were at the parade

The Lake in the Hills Parade is the first indication that I've seen that District 2 Democratic Party county board candidate Mark Booras be planning a campaign.

He was.

Across the street. “So, you’re the Democrat running for county board?” I said.

I thought it was pretty bold of Mark Booras to be kissing children along the parade route. Turns out it was his child.

He agreed he was and, showing that he had learned some political tricks, he kissed a child.

When I remarked on it, he told me it was his child.

McHenry County State's Attorney Lou Bianchi's wife Jean was passing out literature.

Next I saw Jean Bianchi passing out something colorful, which I didn’t get a copy of.

McHenry County State's Attorney Lou Bianchi waved at the crowd.

McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi was riding in a yellow convertible and waved at the camera. Bianchi is not up for election.  Bianchi’s contingent were acting as if this were a campaign year.

Walkers for Sheriff Keith Nygren's campaign.

Next came the walking contingent for Sheriff Keith Nygren.

Dog for Nygren.

Brent Smith’s son had a dog wearing a Nygren tee shirt. It reminded me of my first campaign for state representative when Coventry Republican Precinct Committeeman claimed he was forming “Pets for Skinner.”

With the starts and stops in a parade this probably shows Donna Kurtz has good balance.

Next was McHenry County College Board member Donna Kurtz riding on the front of a bicycle. She is running for county board. Kurtz and Ken Koehler are on the Republican ballot, while Mark Booras is on the Democratic Party side of the ballot.

The Jacobs High School Band marched past next.

I’m a percussion section fan.

The leading edge of the Mark Kirk contingent at the parade.

Behind me near the sidewalk, I noticed a young lady passing out Kirk stickers.

In the distance, one could see the next entrant was U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kirk's contingent.

On the street behind the Medinah Temple small motorcycle guys, the Mark Kirk marchers could be seen.

The red convertible had State Senator Pam Althoff and State Rep. Mike Tryon’s signs affixed to it.

Mark Kirk waved at the Lake in the Hills crowd.

As in Crystal Lake, Congressman Kirk waved to the crowd and thanked them for coming.

Yard signs didn't pose the same problem in the wind that banners did.

The wind was blowing hard enough that some banner holders could not keep their unweighted signs down so they could be read.

Pal Althoff walked by next.

State Senator Pam Althoff was handing out bubble gum at the parade.

Tina Hill

On the back of the pick-up truck rode County Board member Tina Hill.

John Jung

County Board candidate John Jung was handing out Double Bubble, too. I asked for three and got them.  Hill and Jung are running mates in District 5, trying to edge out incumbent Democrat Jim Kennedy, who beat Perry Moy four years ago.

Two more Cub Scout Packs followed.

Cub Scout Pack 369's float.

The first was from Lake in the Hills and I can read the number on its waving flag.

Cub Scout Pack 167.

Next marched Huntley’s Cub Scout Pack 167.

McHenry County Defenders offer clean-up service.

The McHenry County Environmental Defenders continued its tradition of being the last parade entry with members carrying large bags for plastic bottles.

I didn't see any animals, so I'm not sure what this Elgin Sweeper was trying to clean up.

Bringing up the rear was a huge Elgin Sweeper.


The Lake in the Hills Sunset Festival Parade — 7 Comments

  1. Too bad this was a political parade. It would have been a lot nicer if ‘they’ would have stayed home. Don’t we get enough bombardment from these people. They are out pumping your hand but once in office they just don’t have time for you or your problems. And yes I do agree we need to reform our pension system and that’s includes starting from the top down.

  2. There were incumbents not up for election in the parade.

    Right off the top of my head I can think of McHenry County Board member Paula Yensen, a Democrat, and Republican McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi and State Senator Pam Althoff. I also saw Lake in the Hills Trustee Denise Barreto. I believe she was just elected to a four year term last year.

    If you were at the parade, you would have seen many non-political entries. I have emphasized the political because this is a blog concentrating on things political and governmental.

  3. Nygren has turned into a Phil Crane. He is out of touch, unliked, and is hurting the Republican Party. Fresh blood is needed, sorry ya old cadger, thanks for your service, but it’s time to move on.

  4. RU – You mean the behavior that has been going on in SO for years and years and remains current????

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