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Where’s Weyermuller? Celebrating Independence Day 2017




By Mark Weyermuller –

The Independence Day holiday is always fun for me. It's a day of patriotic music, picnics, fireworks, parades and of course politics. I attempted to do my best Ferris Bueller impression by taking the day off and attending as many events as possible for July 4, 2017.

I started my adventure the night before the 4th. My hometown holds their celebration on July 3 at Gillson Park in Wilmette. The extravaganza includes food, kids activities, fireworks, live music, and the Jesse White Tumblers. As you know, Jesse is the Secretary of State in Illinois in charge of the Department of Motor Vehicles. Thousands attended the fireworks in the evening.

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Starting early on Tuesday, I visited several parades and fireworks displays – starting in Niles, Illinois.

In a park at the start of the parade, Notre Dame High School has an annual display of 3518 American Flags – one flag for each American from Niles that lost his or her life in wars for freedom.

This parade is very "Hometown America" with fire trucks, Boy Scouts, antique cars, local businesses, and lots of people throwing out candy.  Residents put out their lawn chairs for one big block party.

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After Niles, I headed to the Chicago Historical Museum on North and Clark for their festivities, which included live music, speakers, children's activities, a reading of the Declaration of Independence with ten-minute kids parade.  Cook County States Attorney Kim Fox was a keynote speaker, along with local Alderman Michelle Smith doing the pledge of allegiance. The tall Uncle Sam on stilts is Frank Birdsall who has been doing this for 25 years. He made an appearance here after seeing him in Wilmette the night before at their event.

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After leaving the Chicago History Museum, I made a quick stop along the way at Wrigley Field. I didn't have a ticket for Tuesday's game, but stood outside on Waveland Avenue taking in the sights and hoping for a baseball over the wall during batting practice.  Many people associate July 4 with America's favorite pastime, baseball.


My last parade of the day was on Central Street in downtown Evanston.  It featured the usual marching bands, floats, politicians and political agendas. Many of the usual politicians had to skip the parade because of the votes taking place in Springfield for what many are calling a massive tax increase with no reforms to fix a broken system.

My congresswoman Jan Schakowsky was there along with Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.  As far as I know, nobody asked Preckwinkle about the massive soda pop tax which was delayed last week with a court injunction.

Jan Schakowsky was joined by her husband Robert Creamer who has been in the news as of late.  Illinois Review covered the Project Veritas videos about Creamer and his efforts to undermine Donald Trump's campaign last year. 

There was a large group advocating for "common sense gun control." It is disputed what common sense means while this group wants less guns along with possible removal of the Second Amendment, others disagree.  My "common sense" would be going after offenders of violence.

Other controversial groups represented at the Evanston parade included a pro choice/pro abortion group.  The abortion rights group included women dressed in red robes and white bonnets. This form of protest is the new TV  Show called "The Handmaiden's Tale."  It's a series based on a book by Margaret Atwood, about a totalitarian society in what used to be part of the United States. The society is ruled by a fundamentalist regime that treats women as property and women's rights are suppressed.  Many of the families watching cringed while others in the heavily liberal community of Evanston supported their agenda.

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Most parades are family friendly, but much like the Pride Parade I attended last week, many families don't like some of these marching units with their controversial messages.

The North Shore Mosquito District skipped the parade this year (perhaps after reading my story last year) but the Water Reclamation District had a large float at taxpayer expense. Why do they have a parade float and how much does it cost? Is this their main function to be in parades or are they just showing they are relevant?  I think they should concentrate on clean water and lower water bills, not marching in parades. 

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Another political group was the Peace Puppets advocating for peace, so they say. They were near the group calling for "Resistance."  I interviewed one of the marchers who was very talkative until I asked who they were resisting.  I asked if he was "resisting the massive tax increases from Michael Madigan."  That ended the interview.  


Other groups joined them including Black Lives Matter, global warming alarmists and a few Trump haters. 

I finished the night early to grill on my back porch with the family.   I then proceeded to watched the Navy Pier Fireworks on television. 

While July 4 is associated with picnics, parades, and fireworks, we still need to remember it is the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. For me, it's a celebration of freedom, liberty, and opportunity. I might need a day off from my day off. 

Mark Weyermuller is a small business person, real estate professional, and conservative activist in Chicago. He is a citizen journalist and regular contributor to Illinois Review. Mark can be heard weekly on the radio in a "man on the street segment" at 10:31pm as a regular guest on the Stephanie Trussell Show heard Sunday nights 9pm-midnight on WLS 890-AM.


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