Skokie Review: Fourth Parade brings 'largest crowd ever' to downtown Skokie


Not too hot, not too cold, all dry and a bunch of families with smiling children — the recipe for a successful Fourth of July parade if there ever was one.

The Skokie Fourth of July Parade Committee could not have asked for a better environment, it said, as Oakton Street was lined several rows deep for the annual Fourth of July parade Monday.

Right up until the last minute, Committee Chairman Alan Gerstner said, the parade was adding to its itinerary. Although packed with celebrity and military grand marshals and special guests, the parade made room for one more big one late in the planning stages:

Jonathan Kite of the CBS hit comedy “Two Broke Girls” rode in the parade, joining a long list of other dignitaries, celebrities, politicians and military men and women. They included Karen Jordan, news anchor at WLS Channel 7 and Christian Farr, news reporter at NBC Channel 5, as parade grand marshals; Roger Baldesch from WGN Radio as reviewing stand announcer; and CBS Channel 2 meteorologist Ed Curran and well-known radio personality Catherine Johns as featured guests.

Retired Col. Jill Morgenthaler served as the military grand marshal of the parade, Sgt. Eduardo Villarreal as the second military grand marshal and Lt. Bill Klopsch as the third military grand marshall.

Gerstner said more than 1,650 people, well over 100 units, were expected to participate in the parade — many more than last year.

Before the event, the chairman said that he hoped to see some 6,000 people in downtown for one of the largest parades Skokie has ever thrown. There was not an official count, but after the parade, the committee posted on its Facebook page just what a successful turnout there was.

“Wow! What a Parade!,” it said. “Thank you to the thousands of people that came out to the Skokie Fourth of July parade. This was the largest crowd ever. Thank you for making our parade the best parade in Chicagoland.”

Twitter @SKReview_Mike

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