Rotary-HBA event LB Oct. 9 – Nov 7 2019

Flossmoor’s Fourth of July parade – a tradition since the 1930s – will be revived Saturday when lines of fire trucks traverse neighborhoods on both the east and west sides of the village.

In previous years, the parade has been an opportunity for kids, and their parents, to display patriotic spirit by decorating bikes and riding down Flossmoor Road. The COVID-19 pandemic has made that impossible in 2020 but residents will still be able to enjoy a parade on the nation’s birthday.

Two sets of fire vehicles will start the procession at 10 a.m. at Ballantrae Way and Crawford Avenue on the west side of town and Hanover Road and Dixie Highway on the east. Both parade routes end at the fire station.

Flossmoor officials are asking residents to decorate their homes and yards in red, white and blue and to practice social distancing as the parade goes by.

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As in previous years, the parade is sponsored by the Flossmoor Volunteer Fire Department Corporation, a not-for-profit group that is a separate organization from the village and was first organized in 1928.

Fire Captain Matt Berk, the corporation president, said his group partnered with the village of Flossmoor “to develop an idea that could bring the community together in these unprecedented times.”

“It was truly a team effort between two organizations to ensure that the residents can still celebrate,” Berk told the H-F Chronicle.

Parade planners decided that it was best to break the parade route into two separate paths that meet at the end of the dual processions.

“We did this in part to minimize the traffic we may cause going through town and to keep the timing of the parade as close to tradition as possible,” Berk said. “We hope to have as much of our fleet involved in the parade as possible, but our apparatus count will be determined by the amount of participation we receive from our volunteers.”

Flossmoor police officers will be available to help and participate pending their call volume during the parade, Berk said.

“We will not be shutting down any roads and we have limited the impact to mostly residential neighborhoods for a brief time,” he said.

Village officials are asking any residents who are sensitive to noise to provide that information to the fire department so that siren sounds and lights can be turned off in those areas. Persons wishing to make those requests can contact the fire department at 708-798-3885 or email [email protected]

Berk was asked why it’s important to continue the Fourth of July parade this year.

“I believe in the times of this pandemic it is essential to continue our sense of civic pride,” he said. “It is essential that our residents can still feel that they are heard and loved. Our motto (at the Volunteer Fire Department Corporation) is ‘Service, Pride, and Tradition’ and the village’s is ‘Welcoming, Beautiful, and Connected.’ When you look at those six words, it truly brings us back to being a strong community that can look at the positives of this pandemic.

“By maintaining traditions, and staying connected, we can use the pride of our community to highlight how beautiful our community is and how we care for each other. Our community must remain united and be there for one another. This parade is a way that we can achieve our mission of providing excellent service to our community and show that we are there for them.”

Flossmoor officials are asking residents to send photos of their Fourth of July home decorations to the village with the hashtag #FlossmoorRedWhiteBlue. 

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