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Saturday July 28, 2012 - Daily Chronicle





Dancers from Conexion Comunidad appear in the third annual Kishwaukee Fest parade Friday in downtown DeKalb. (Nicole Weskerna – nweskerna@shawmedia.com)

Kish Fest parade draws crowd to downtown DeKalb

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DeKALB – As she danced and collected candy Friday evening, it seemed Kaitlyn Page, 2, got a kick out of her first parade.

Her parents, Angelique and Darion Page of DeKalb, took her to see the third annual Kishwaukee Fest parade Friday in downtown DeKalb because their daughter had never seen a parade before.

“I enjoyed it, and I definitely think our daughter did,” said Angelique Page.

The parade lasted an hour and was made up of more than 80 units, including bands, beauty queens, martial artists, floats, emergency vehicles, classic cars and special guests, “Hammy” of the Rockford Ice Hogs and Miss Illinois.

Army Spc. Tyler Ryan, a DeKalb resident who is on a two-week leave between tours to Afghanistan, was the Kishwaukee Fest parade marshal, which fit the “Salute the Troops” parade theme.

The fire trucks are a parade favorite for Kevin Lee, 4, of DeKalb. He and his parents, Nick and Erin Lee, attended the parade for the second year in a row.

“It’s close. It’s nice,” Erin Lee said. “It’s a good length – not too short, not too long. It’s a nice little parade.”

After the parade was a downtown street dance featuring four bands: Stoker Red, Southern Charm, Destination Unknown and JP & the Cats. Post-parade festivities also included an ice cream social, where paradegoers had a chance to meet the dozen beauty queens who were in the parade.

The Kishwaukee Fest parade highlighted the week-long Kishwaukee Fest that kicked off July 21 with a play by the Stage Coach Players. Other events included live country music, jazz, a DeKalb Municipal Band concert and a youth talent show. A cruise night, car show and bacon festival will wrap up the festival this weekend.

The festival started in 2010 and features live entertainment and DeKalb County attractions. FunMe Events organizes the festival.

Classic cars were parked along Lincoln Highway before the start of the parade, where Esther and Morris Hughes of Cortland watched as people checked out their refurbished 1967 Chevrolet truck. After six years of restoration, Friday was the first time their truck has been on display in a car show.

“It hadn’t run for nine years” before he bought it, Morris Hughes said. “It sat so long both mufflers fell off.” The cars and a fleet of motorcycles cleared the way as the parade headed toward First Street. Autumn and Douglas Kelly of DeKalb attended several Kishwaukee Fest events this year, including the talent show and concert at the band shell in Hopkins Park. They also attended Friday’s parade with their son, Nicolas, 4. Autumn Kelly said this is the second year she and her family have joined the Kishwaukee Fest activities, and said last year’s activities were an unexpectedly nice surprise.

“It’s nice to bring the community together,” she said. “We like to participate in local events as much as possible.”

“It hadn’t run for nine years” before he bought it, Morris Hughes said. “It sat so long both mufflers fell off.”

The cars and a fleet of motorcycles cleared the way as the parade headed toward First Street.

Autumn and Douglas Kelly of DeKalb attended several Kishwaukee Fest events this year, including the talent show and concert at the band shell in Hopkins Park. They also attended Friday’s parade with their son, Nicolas, 4.

Autumn Kelly said this is the second year she and her family have joined the Kishwaukee Fest activities, and said last year’s activities were an unexpectedly nice surprise.

“It’s nice to bring the community together,” she said. “We like to participate in local events as much as possible.”


By NICOLE WESKERNA - nweskerna@shawmedia.com


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NOTE:
SPC Tyler Ryan served as Kish Fest Parade Marshal of the parade. He joined Boy Scout Troop 33 in 2001.

Troop 33 Scouts participated in the Kish Fest Parade with a van and 21-foot flat trailer. Parade unit #29 consisted of the van decorated with window paint of names and activities. The trailer had two canoes with Scouts dressed in life jackects paddling their way along the route.

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