Nadia Neish, 4, gets ready to start her first Flossmoor 4th of July parade. (Nuha Abdessalam/H-F Chronicle)
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Flossmoor celebrates 4th of July and marks its centennial year  

As Flossmoor’s Fourth of July Parade unfolded, it was not just a celebration of our nation’s Independence Day but also a display of unity and togetherness for a community celebrating its 100th anniversary. 

“This event is a testament to our village’s rich history,” Mayor Michelle Nelson said. “It’s a celebration of the doers who have shaped our community over the past 100 years and the volunteer spirit that has always been at the heart of Flossmoor. It’s a proud moment for us all.”  

Nadia Neish, 4, gets ready to start her first Flossmoor 4th of July parade. (Nuha Abdessalam/H-F Chronicle)
Nadia Neish, 4, gets ready to start her first Flossmoor 4th of July parade. (Nuha Abdessalam/H-F Chronicle)

Despite the slight overcast, the spirit of the community shone brightly on Thursday morning. Families and friends, unbothered by the weather, gathered at Parker Junior High at 9:30 a.m. 

Youngsters adorned their bikes, scooters, and wagons with “pit-crew” members, local volunteers who helped decorate and prepare the vehicles for the parade, adding a charming touch to Flossmoor’s 4th of July annual parade that winds through downtown Flossmoor. 

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The streets were a sea of red, white, and blue, adorned with streamers, bows, ribbons, beads and American flags.

The joy and excitement of the children were not just visible but palpable. Their innocent laughter and carefree spirit added a unique charm to the event, reminding us of life’s simple joys. 

Two-year-old Fiona Kristoff stood out, fearlessly weaving her scooter through the lanes. 

Her fiery red hair and strawberry patch dress added a splash of color to the event, earning her smiles and applause from the locals. 

“Just like her brother Eoin, Fiona has always been an adrenaline junkie, outspoken and doing her thing,” said her dad, John Kristoff. 

New residents to Flossmoor Collette and Walter Woghiren were eager to bring their two kids, 4-year-old Kinzley and 2-year-old Kingston, to the festivities. Their gratitude towards the community was heartwarming. 

“We are so happy to be able to be here and celebrate our freedoms and not take for granted what community is,” Collette said.

Francis Fullam, a Flossmoor resident of 37 years, is no stranger to the village bike parade.

Fullam has been coming to the parade since 2009 to capture “the perfect picture” with a 4- by 5-inch film camera, a rare and intriguing choice that has a rich history, first introduced in 1816. 

This unique camera, with film strips inserted in the back, has a roll of light-sensitive film placed within the camera; when using the camera, the shutter of the remains opens where the film is exposed to light, and an image is captured. It was too early to tell if the perfect picture captures came out. Fullam said, “The archives I have from over the years show a perfect picture; I just haven’t come across it yet.” 

Homewood-Flossmoor High School’s national theatrical competition winner, Jazmin Rhodes, was just back from Broadway, joined the parade at the traffic island in front of Flossmoor Public Library to sing the national anthem. 

“When Mayor Nelson reached out to my family for me to sing the national anthem, it was a no-brainer, of course,” Rhodes said. “We are a community, so I feel like the 4th of July represents that, for me, it means spending time with my family, my community and enjoying the company of loved ones.” 

“Celebrating the 4th with community members is a great way for neighbors to come together,” Nelson said, “to celebrate community, the spirit that encapsulates the village of Flossmoor, like our name tags say, ‘welcoming,’ ‘beautiful,’ and ‘connected.'” 

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