Crystal Lake Independence Day Parade Packs Pols at Front

The1.8 mile Crystal Lake Independence Day Parade was held on Sunday, July 2nd.

It was about an hour and a half and featured elected officials and candidates near the front.

Featured entries like the Crystal Lake Strikers, the Jesse White Tumblers and South Shore Drill Team were near the back.

On the way to First Church at 10:35, I saw this long line of folks waiting to get in the Crystal Lake Park District’s Main Beach, presumably to get good places to watch tonight’s fireworks.

People were lining up to get into the Crystal Lake Park District’s Main Beach this morning before eleven.

Across the street and along Dole Avenue, people called “dibs” on prime sites to view the parade.

One would think that those reserving seats this early would have found places in the shade.

As I walked to the staging area, I found this baby ready for its first parade.

New born with Mom waiting for the parade to begin.

Before Dole Avenue was closed this motorcycle headed toward Route 14.

Bedecked in flag motif, motorcyclist and passer fly an American Flag.

On my hunt for politicians, I found this colorful entry among the commercial floats.

“What was this?” I was asking myself. Whatever it was, it attracted my attention.

Robert Wilbrandt

Where parade entries were stacked had been significantly changed.
As I walked about Crystal Lake City Hall, I found the City Council float. I was directed to the east side of th garage to find the political entires.

First to be spotted was appointed Judge Robert Wilbrandt, now seeking election to a six-year term.

Behind Wilbrandt’s entry was that of the McHenry County Republican Party.

Proving old dogs can be taught new tricks is the inflated elephant on the back of the GOP truck.

This year the local GOP found a blow-up elephant. That’s much easier to store than big plastic ones.

McHenry County Recorder of Deeds Joe Tirio was wearing his “I won’t hire my wife” tee shirt.

Behind the Republican entry was that of McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks.

Walkers for Democrat Jack Franks lined up against the wall. Note Franks’ new retired legislator plate. Instead of a name, he has the number 5. Wonder what that means.

Patrick Kenneally

I was told that Jack was in the parade, but I didn’t see him in the staging area or on the parade route.

He must have been on the west side of Dole Avenue where my view of him was blocked.

Next, I found McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally.

He brought a bagpiper.

I told him that his fellow bagpipers in the Dundee Scotts were on the other side of City Hall behind Walter Alarm’s warehouse.

With four minutes until the 1 AM parade kick-off, a family was hurrying west on Woodstock Street.

City Attorney John Cowlin and his wife stopped in a shady spot on Woodstock Street with a view of the parade start.

I got Parade Marshall Mike Tryon to take off the big hat that last year’s Marshall, Mike Split, had given him.

Parade Marshall Mike Tryon had a spot of honor.

Banners with the names of sponsors of this year’s parade came right after a police car.

Sponsors of the Independence Day Parade.

The Color Guard stimulated folks to stand, take off their hats and put their right hands on their hearts.

The Independence Day Color Guard.

Floats of local Veterans groups followed. People shouted, “Thank you for your service.”

Auxiliary members passed out flags to the delight of kids.

This World War II Veteran fought in the Pacific part of the war.

World War II Veteran.

The local VFW sign said it all.

“All gave some. Some gave all.”

Lions carried their huge American Flag.

Crystal Lake Lions impressed people with their huge American Flag.

Former State Rep. Mike Tryon wore the big Uncle Sam hat.

Mike Tryon took Mike Split’s advice and wore the Uncle Sam hat.

A Crystal Lake Public Works truck carried a sign wishing those on the curbs a “Happy Independence Day.”

“Happy Independence Day” says the sign in the parade.

Crystal Lake City Council members followed the sign.

The Crystal Lake City Council float.

Ralph Dawson has a car of his own.

Crystal Lake promoted its Three Oaks Recreation Area with a float.

Three Oaks Recreation Area, free to Crystal Lake residents, had a promotional float.

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Department had a female driving waving at the crowd.

No inappropriate hand gestures from the Deputy Sheriff this year.

Immediately behind was a Sergeant from the McHenry County Conservation District Police force on a motorcycle.

This MCCD sergeant did tricks on his motorcycle.

Republicans came next.

A bicyclist doing wearing a Joe Tirio tee shirt did tricks which delighted the children in the crowd.

Missing was registered participant State Rep. Allen Skillicorn, who represents the southern portion of Crystal Lake.

Another bike rider doing tricks was wearing a tee shirt of McHenry County Board member John Reinert.

He was in Springfield instead not taking travel and living expenses.
With state legislators gathered at the State Capitol waiting to vote on raising income taxes back to
the 5% level, minus .05%, the truck carrying the GOP’s parade elephant had the following on its grill:

“It’s about the taxes!”

“It’s about the taxes!” is what the Republican Party’s entry says.

A man wearing a tee shirt with State Senator Dan McConchie’s name rides in the truck. McHenry County Board member Craig Wilcox walks behind.

The elephant remain inflated on the truck.

Besides County Board member Craig Wilcox, Joe Gottemoller can be seen, along with Mike Shorten.

Various Republicans walked along its side and behind it.

Republican signs covered the back and sides of the truck.

The Republican County Board members were passing out goodies to the kids.

McHenry County Board member John Reinert was one of those passing out candy.

McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally had his own entry.

Patrick Kenneally’s bagpiper can be seen on the right.

Kenneally was greeting voters.

McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally.

Next came Jack Franks’ contingent.

Jack Franks walkers.

His folks were passing out frozen tubes of sugar water.

Jack Franks and his wife worked the west side of Dole Avenue.

Franks must have been on the other side of the street because I didn’t catch sight of him, but did find him in one of my photos.

McHenry County Treasurer Glenda Miller

McHenry County Treasurer Glenda Miller rode in a convertible.

Mary McClellan’s Crystal Lake Parade banner.

Following her was McHenry County Clerk Mary McClellan.

McHenry County Clerk Mary McClellan

McClellan chose to tell people about her current office, rather than promoting her candidacy for Circuit Court Judge.

The last time I remember Libertarians being in the Crystal Lake Parade they had a George Ryan character behind bars.

McHenry County Libertarians separated McClellan from judicial opponent Robert Wilbrandt.

Judge Robert Wilbrandt walked behind his banner.

Besides politicians and elected officials, there were governmental entities.

Some of them and other political entries tomorrow.


Crystal Lake Independence Day Parade Packs Pols at Front — 26 Comments

  1. ‘It’s about the taxes’.

    What a joke.

    Just yesterday folks were calling Republican Representatives to vote against the tax hike.

    If it was ‘about the taxes’ the prelim vote for the tax hike would not have been 90 to 25.

  2. Looks like yet another example of Republican State Representative 63rd District 2016 primary candidate Jeffery Lichte supporting Democrat Jack Franks.

    Man in the mustache next to license plate number 5.

    License plate number 5 being a premium low number hard to get plate.

  3. “It’s about the taxes”???

    I guess their members didn’t get the memo…

  4. Cal- the two folks riding in the truck keeping the GOP elephant in place we’re representing Senator McConchie.

  5. The only McHenry GOP state Rep or senator to vote in favor of the tax increase was Rep Anderson.

  6. The two Kurtz signs on the GOP truck remind me that the County GOP needs to “vet” GOP candidates in the primary!

  7. Was there an entry for the McHenry County Democrats or Progressives?

    I guess it’s true that they don’t love America.

  8. All progressives joined the sunshine blog float. It was a glorious ride in which we proudly displayed our respect and admiration for the immense contribution our free loader, sunshine blogger makes to journalism in general, and to McHenry county in particular. 2018, over here please…tic, tock, tic, tock…

  9. Thank you Andrew Gasser for not spending money of Alg. Township taxpayers for a stupid friggin’ float in a parade!

    You rock!

  10. I believe That’s as Un-American as It gets.

    He could have paid out of pocket like most Elected officials Do.

    You Commies can leave my neighborhood anytime now.

  11. None for the Democratic Party per se.

    Give me some time and you’ll see the other political entries.

  12. I have never seen an Algonquin Township Road District truck in the CL parade.

  13. Looks like Jack Franks’ youngest son was campaigning for Jack at the 4th of July parade.


    The “5” license plate was previously held by Neal Bidwill, who was a Republican Precinct Committeeman, River Forest village Trustee, and the son of former long time Republican State Senator Arthur Bidwill.

    Arthur Bidwill, according to Wikipedia, was in office from 1935 – 1972, including President Pro Tempore of the Senate from January 1955 to January 1965 in the 69th, 70th, 71st, 72nd, & 73rd General Assemblies.

  14. And there’s a picture of Jack Franks in the parade too.

    So it is now safe enough for Jack and his son to be together.


    There was no indication that Jack’s wife had to stay away from him too.

    Why it would be safe enough for a middle aged woman but not safe enough for an adult man has not been addressed.

  15. “5: Neil M. Bidwill, son of Arthur Bidwill” appears in that aforementioned Chicago Tribune article.

  16. Uhh… Mark.

    You do realize that “retired legislator” plates are completely different than regular plates, right?

    You can have a “5” regular plate AND a “5” retired legislator plate AND a “5” State Senator plate AND a “5” State Rep plate.

  17. I believe retired legislator plates have to have one’s name or initials.

  18. The 8th picture in the article is a white Nissan with a license plate imprinted with “Retired House” and “5”.


    According to a comment on another blog, and the linked Daily Herald article, the following types of Illinois plates can have the same number:

    – Passenger

    – B Truck (8,000 pounds or less)

    – F Truck aka Flat Weight Truck (over 8,000 pounds)

    – Handicapped

    – Motorcycle

    – Handicapped Motorcycle

    – America Remembers

    – State House

    – State Senate

    – Retired House

    – Retired Senate

    source 1 :

    The Expired Meter

    Chicago Issues Parking Tickets to Dead Man

    June 2, 2011


    source 2:

    Daily Herald

    What’s Your Problem?

    Problem: A Barrage of Parking Tickets for Dead Husband’s Truck, Sold Years Ago

    – Pickup mix-up to blame for steep tab attached to vehicle long since sold

    May 29, 2011

    by Jon Yates

  19. What a joke – The Democrats had an enthusiastic group of over a hundred.

    Way to be an unbiased reporter Cal!

    The Dems got a huge reception from the parade atendees.

    Many said louder than Republicans for sure.

    Truth hurts.

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