Elgin 4th Parade Celebrates Food, Fun and the Fourth

The 2012 City of Elgin 4th of July Parade – Presented by Sherman Health steps off Wednesday, July 4 at 9AM at the
intersection of Slade and Douglas Avenues in the NorthEast Neighborhood Association, proceeds south on Douglas Avenue
into downtown Elgin and finishes at Highland and Douglas Avenues.

Over 15,000 people annually flock to the streets of downtown Elgin to partake in this summertime tradition. With 115 parade units confirmed, including 24 floats and over 2,500 walkers, this year’s 4th of July parade is shaping up to be one of the largest parades to date.

“Our 4th of July Parade Committee has been working diligently to plan this year’s parade really since shortly after the 2011 parade ended,” said Downtown Neighborhood Association Promotions Coordinator Jason Pawlowski.

The coordination of the parade is a year-long, joint partnership between the City of Elgin and DNA and is executed by a committee of dozens of local volunteers.


The following streets in Downtown Elgin will be closed to vehicle traffic from approximately 8:30AM to 11:30AM, and vehicles parked along these streets after 6 AM will be towed:

  • Kimball St. from Dundee Ave. to N. Grove Ave.
  • Douglas Ave. from River Bluff Rd. to E. Chicago St.
  • Highland Ave. from Spring St. to N. Grove Ave.
  • Symphony from Douglas Ave. to Spring St.

The following streets in the adjacent NENA neighborhood will be closed for staging and for the parade route from 6AM to Noon. No parked cars will be allowed on these streets during this time. Driveway access will be limited beginning at 6 AM. Please move your car to a nearby side street by 6 AM that day.


  • N. Grove Ave. from Kimball St. to River Bluff Rd.
  • Brook St. from Kimball St. to River Bluff Rd.
  • River Bluff Rd. from Spring St. to N. Grove Ave.
  • Douglas Ave. from River Bluff Rd. to Chicago St.

Parking will be allowed on the east-west streets between Spring St. and N. Grove Ave. though access will be very limited from 9 AM to 11 AM while the parade is in session.

The staging area is staffed with parade volunteers who help to orchestrate the staging. They will take care to not stage vehicles in front of driveways and to keep participants out of front lawns. Their goal is to leave the staging area as clean as they found it.


The theme for this year’s City of Elgin 4th of July Parade is “Red, White and FOOD” – a celebration of Elgin’s great tastes, unique flavors and diverse cultures.

“I know when I think of Elgin, the first thing I think of is the food,” said Pawlowski. “From the DNA’s Downtown Madness foodie-based social media promotion to the Gail Borden Public Library’s ‘Reading is So Delicious’ summer reading program to the multitude of restaurants and mom-and-pop diners and bistros representing so many distinctive cultural flavors, Elgin really does have great taste.”

To celebrate the parade’s food theme, the public is invited to bring non-perishable food donations as two local groups will be conducting food drives during the parade:

The Boy Scouts of Shabbona District Three Fires Council will be collecting donations of canned goods during the parade to be donated to local food pantries.

Lest we forget our furry friends, volunteers from Kountry Pet Resort, who will kick off our pre-parade entertainment with the Second Annual Kountry Pet Resort Pooch Parade shortly before 9AM, will also be collecting donations of canned pet food to be donated to local shelters including Animal House and Almost Home Pet Rescue.


This year’s parade float competition will reflect the decidedly epicurean parade theme slant with participants encouraged to adorn their parade units and floats in food-themed décor. Parade floats will compete in three categories: Open, Business and Kids. A special Eco-Elgin award will also be presented to the float that best represents sustainable practices in its construction and presentation.

Winners will receive a plaque and receive recognition at a future Elgin City Council meeting.

Judges for the 2012 4th Parade Float Competition are Kat Dahlin, Laurie Faith Gibson, Dave Metzger and Ted Schnell. More judges to be announced.

Additionally, the voting public will choose a People’s Choice winner amongst all of the parade participants – not just floats – via online voting the week following the parade. Details and voting form will be available after Wednesday, July 4 on the new DNA website at DowntownElgin.com.


To celebrate their centennial anniversary, the Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois have been selected as the 2012 City of Elgin 4th of July Parade Grand Marshals. CEO Vicki Wright, will serve as the official parade ambassador and will ride in a beautiful powder blue Cadillac, courtesy of Elgin resident Richard Bennett, and will be joined by an Elgin area high school student who will be receiving her Gold Award – the highest award a Girl Scout can earn for achievement in community service. Following right behind the Grand Marshal vehicle will be the Girl Scouts Color Guard and dozens of scouts of all ages.

“The 4th of July Parade Committee is privileged to have these wonderful young role models representing Elgin as our ambassadors for the 2012 Parade,” said Pawlowski.

Girl Scouts Founder, Juliette Gordon Low, organized the first Girl Scout troop on March 12, 1912 in Savannah, Georgia. Since then, for 100 years, Girl Scouts has been building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Today, there are 3.2 million Girl Scouts. More than 59 million American women enjoyed Girl Scouting during their childhood and that number continues to grow as Girl Scouts continues to inspire, challenge, and empower girls everywhere.


The 4th of July Parade Committee has assembled another fantastic roster of entertainment for parade-goers to enjoy, highlighted by The Crystal Lake Strikers, Jesse White Tumblers, Dundee Scottish Pipe Band, Medinah Motor Corps, Kane County Mounted Rangers, High School Bands from Elgin, Larkin, South Elgin and Streamwood High Schools, and new this year – Allegiance Color Guard and Pro Dance Elite.

A complete listing of the 2012 parade participants with staging block information is available at www.DowntownElgin.com/parade/Parade_Participants.pdf

Broadcast coverage of Elgin’s 4th Parade will once again be anchored by Jeff Myers and Councilman John Prigge. Kyle Bault will provide PA announcements and play-by-play to the crowd assembled near the Judges area towards the end of the parade route.


The City of Elgin 4th of July Parade – Presented by Sherman Health would not be possible without the generous support of the following individuals and organizations:


  • City of Elgin
  • Downtown Neighborhood Association
  • Sherman Health – Presenting Sponsor
  • Alexian Brothers Health System – White Level Sponsor
  • Provena Saint Joseph Hospital – White Level Sponsor
  • Waste Management – White Level Sponsor
  • Woody Buick – White Level Sponsor
  • BMO Harris Bank – Blue Level Sponsor
  • Danny’s Pizza – Blue Level Sponsor
  • Elgin Community College – Blue Level Sponsor
  • Kountry Pet Resort – Blue Level Sponsor
  • Lamp Incorporated – Blue Level Sponsor
  • Redmon’s Towing – Blue Level Sponsor
  • Spring Hill Gymnastics – Blue Level Sponsor
  • Armida & Joe Dominguez – Community Sponsor
  • PLS Loan Store – Community Sponsor
  • Psychosis Haunted House – Community Sponsor
  • Richard Bennett – Community Sponsor
  • Daily Herald – Media Sponsor
  • WRMN Radio – Media Sponsor


  • Jeff Allison – Chairperson
  • Lori Gardner
  • Mike Giugliano
  • Barb Keselica
  • Jason Pawlowski
  • Rich Pollack
  • April Richert
  • Sue Shipyor
  • Deirdre White