The Politicians at Crystal Lake’s July 4th Parade

OK. You got me.

It’s July 3rd.

The Color Guard weren't up front in the 2011 Crystal Lake Independence Day Parade, but it will be in this article.

And it wasn’t sweltering hot.  I found the shade most of the hour and a half 90-something entry parade.

The biggest political entry was Congressman Joe Walsh’s.

He followed Congressman Don Manzullo and his wife Freda, who rode in a convertible.

Nineteen year Congressman Don Manzullo rode with his wife Freda in Crystal Lake's 4th of July Parade. Under the Democratic Party's map, Manzullo will represent none of McHenry County after the 2012 elections.

Between them was McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren.  If one did not recognize the Sheriff, one would not have known that he was in the parade.

Sheriff Keith Nygren drove a squad car in Crystal Lake's Independence Day Parade. His wife Marge was riding in the passenger seat and a youngster was waving from the read window.

Last year at parades there were Sheriff’s Department motorcyclists, a snow mobile, a community service vehicle, plus a convertible with identification signs on the sides in which the Sheriff rode.

Would someone familiar wth law enforcement patches tell us in the comments whether this is a photo of a Sheriff's Deputy?

There was an unmarked gray car that followed with a female officer. I’m not familiar enough with the patch she wore to know if she’s a Sheriff’s Deputy.

Fire engines thrilled the kids lining the parade route.

Can’t do a story without mentioning the Grand Marshall. After all she is the mother of McHenry County Board member Jim Heisler and Nunda Township Supervisor John Heisler.

Chemtool President Jim Athans drives Grand Marshall Dorothy Heisler in his splendid convertible.

Next came the Crystal Lake Lions huge flag. I only wish I had had a higher vantage point.

The Crystal Lake Lions gigantic Americal Flag.

JA Frate’s Fallen Heroes semi-trailer paid appropriate honor to those who have defended our freedom.

Crystal Lake's JA Frate's Fallen Heroes trailer was in Crystal Lake's Indendence Day Parade after the huge Lions Club flag.

Then the banner of Congressman Joe Walsh came down the hill.

This banner announced that Congressman Joe Walsh was on the way.

A man with a bull horn said patriotic things.

There were lots of sounds during the parade, but all were musical except the words of this Joe Walsh supporter.

Next came Congressman Walsh.  He was greeting people along the parade route, the only politician besides McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi to do so.

Although he represents very few constituents with a Crystal Lake zip code, Congressman Joe Walsh enjoyed good face recognition...probably because of his numerous appearance on national television appearances where a "Tea Party" Republican was desired.

What you see below was not an isolated occurrence.  A number of people made the effort to reach out to Congressman Walsh.

Here is another man who reached out to Joe Walsh once he recognized him. Walsh was wearing nothing to identify himself.

Parents seemed please that Walsh did not ignore the future voters.

Joe Walsh was giving high fives to kids along the route, although i didn't manage to get a shot of that.

These girls were marching in time with the music from Joe Walsh's float.

These girls were marching to the beat blaring from the loud speaker on Joe Walsh's vehicle.

Marching music was playing from Joe Walsh’s parade vehicle and a line of girls were marching to its beat.

Walsh saw them and stepped over to clap in time with them.

The Congressman who has had his 8th District reapportioned out from under him did not ignore the ladies of voting age.

Joe Walsh was not just greeting men during Crystal Lake's 2011 Independence Day Parade.

Some women were as enthusiastic to see him as the men above.

Enthusiasm radiated from this woman's greeting of Joe Walsh.

A blue-shirted lady nearby was not to be outdone. She also grasped Walsh’s hands and told him something.

The energetic Congressman Joe Walsh continued being greeted enthusiastically as the parade continued.

Walsh was not the only member of the family greeting voters.

His wife Helene was pressing the flesh, too.


Joe Walsh's wife Helene made contact with this flag-bedecked woman.Did she want a picture with him? No, she wanted a word with one of 435 United States Representatives.

The truck from which the sound was coming contained that part of a mariachi band that needed a stable platform.

The Ranchitos mariachi band that Congressman Joe Walsh hired appealed not only to those with connections to Mexico lining Dole Avenue, but also to the very Anglo guy taking pictures.

Ever since I heard my first mariachi band in the 1960’s, I always wished I had enough money to hire them for parades.  He hired the Ranchitos.  I hope he does it for every parade.

You can see Ranchitos band members are wearing Joe Walsh tee shirts and the drummer is surrounded by American flags. Feel free to comment on what message that Walsh is trying to convey in the comment section below.

Nick Sauer, was marching with Congressman Joe Walsh in the first political event since Kent Gaffney was appointed to take State Rep. Mark Beaubien's seat in the Illinois General Assembly. Sauer was reportedly the choice of Lake County Chairman Bob Cook, who was outvoted by McHenry County GOP Chairman Mike Tryona and newly-appointed Barrington Township Committeeman Gene Dawson.

But that wasn’t all I noticed in the Joe Walsh contingent.

One of the rejected applicants to replace State Rep. Mark Beaubien, Nick Sauer, introduced himself. Since I didn’t have a picture of him, you can bet I pushed the button.

The Barrington School Board member was waving an American Flag at the end of the Walsh group.

Repubiican Precinct Committeeman Mike Shorten

I also spotted past Crystal Lake City Council candidate Mike Shorten.  He is now a  Nunda Township precinct committeeman.

The next political entry was a bicycle ridden by a man displaying signs for McHenry County Board member Donna Kurtz. (She tells me she and her mother, former State Rep. Rosemary Kurtz, were in the parade, but my eyes must have been elsewhere.)

A supporter of McHenry County Board member Donna Kurtz gave her some name identification.

The only County Board member I saw at the parade was Nunda Township’s District 3 member Mary Donner.

McHenry County Board member Mary Donner waves to the crowd on the other side of the street.

Looking very much as if he will be a candidate in the 2012 elections was McHenry County State’s attorney Lou Bianchi.

McHenry County State's Attorney Lou Bianchi worked the Crystal Lake Independence Day Parade.

The political entry was the PTLAG contingent.

The banner of the Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

The acronym is short for “Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.”  The group is a member of the coalition that convinced the Illinois General Assembly to enact the civil union legislation that took effect June 1st.

The next political group was the Jesse White Tumblers.

The van for the Jesse White Tumblers bears the Secretary of State's name.

Before you get all bent out of shape, do remember that Secretary of State Jesse White did accompany his tumblers in one 4th of July Parade.

With the First United Methodist Church of Crystal Lake as his backdrop, a senior member of the Jesse White Tumblers soars through the air.

Coming near the end of the parade were the McHenry County Young Republicans.

The banner of the McHenry County Young Republicans was next. The man who challenged Democrat Jack Franks in 2010, John O'Neill, can be seen to the right of the banner.

McHenry County State Rep. and GOP Chairman Mike Tryon walked with the Young Republicans.

State Rep. Mike Tryon was in the parade.

West Dundee Village Trustee Allen Skillicorn.

While State Rep. Mike Tryon marched with the Young Republicans, I didn’t see State Sen. Pam Althoff.

If newly picked State Rep. Kent Gaffney was in the contingent, I did not recognize him.

His new district will contain more votes in McHenry County than anywhere else.  About a third of Crystal Lake is in it.

A surprise addition was West Dundee Village Trustee Allen Skillicorn.

As I look at the contents of the photos, I see a delightful tee shirt.

It says,

“Honk if you hate red light cameras.

Click to enlarge this photo and you will see a tee shirt that says, "Honk if you hate red light cameras."

That is relevant to McHenry County because Democrat Jack Franks was one of the sponsors of the bill to legalize this form of highway robbery.

And, although it has no political implications, the South Shore Drill Team brought up the rear of the parade.

Look at the smile on this flag waving team member.

The team was worth waiting for.

Almost forgot Crystal Lake’s politicians.

Mayor Aaron Shepley was not present, but City Clerk Nick Kachiroubas was.

City Clerk Nick Kachiroubas.

So were two of the three women on the City Council, Ellen Brady Mueller and Cathy Ferguson.

City Councilwoman Ellen Brady Mueller was one of the first parade entries. I asked her if she was going to run for County Board. She seemed to be thinking about it.

Council member Cathy Ferguson was waving to the crowd.

And, finally, Councilman Ralph Dawson was seated comfortably in the back of a pickup truck.

Council Ralph Dawson sits in the back. Although I see a sign with Jeff Thorsen's name on it, I didn't catch sight of him.


The Politicians at Crystal Lake’s July 4th Parade — 3 Comments

  1. Cal, the photo of the law enforcement officer shows she is a Sergeant with Crystal Lake PD.

  2. Cal, Thank You for your efforts bringing “Home” great 4th of July photos for those of us who have ties to McHenry County, yet now live elsehwere.

    This year more than any in recent memory, this years parade showed great unity and all the hard working participants certainly looked appropriate, and there appeared a sense of ‘pride’ especially from all the elected office holders.

    A wonderful sight seeing Sheriff Nygren and Mrs. Nygren riding along in a squad, Im sure the kids enjoyed seeing the Sheriff ‘representing the Uniform of his department!’ Well done Sheriff Nygren!

    States Attorney Bianchi looks incredible!!! Last week I was driving down Huntley Road just inside Lakewood and I saw a man jogging on the side of edge of the road pavement.

    The gentleman appeared to be about 60ish but he was really ‘Moving Out’ at a great pace, and he was certainly “Buff!”

    To my surprise, it was indeed our States Attorney Mr. Lou Bianchi. Now I see his photo in the parade as he was ”working’ the crowd. WOW, he is in incredible shape, check out those forearms!! States Attorney Bianchi looks like a “Heavy Weight Champion” ready to score a “Knock Out!”

    Well, seeing the Sheriff looking handsome and professional in his County Sheriff’s Cruiser, with his wife and some little guy in the back, and our States Attorney out looking so well and happy, kind of took me back to the ‘Good Ole Days’ I remember so well having grown up in Crystal Lake.

    Thanks again Cal, and thanks to all the participants who made this parade what it is meant to be! A “Unified” front for Freedom and Justice, the foundation of our Nations beliefs.

    Well done one and all!

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