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'July 4th'

Jul 03

Independence Day Celebrations of the Past

Posted to Riverside History on July 3, 2023 at 2:55 PM by Amy Downing

Step into the past to get a glimpse of the Village’s Independence Day festivities in 1966. While the celebration looked slightly different than today, the sense of community was just as strong.

The 51st Independence Day Celebration started with the main parade featuring the Norwood Park Drum and Bugle Corps. In honor of his long service to the Village, S. Ashley Guthrie, Village Attorney, led the parade as marshal. Everyone gathered at “Ball Park” immediately following the parade for “patriotic exercises,” which included the posting of the colors, singing of the National Anthem, and speeches, followed by awards for classic and antique cars.

Evidently, Riversiders loved a good parade as the afternoon included a triple dose of fun with three specialty parades for the children. The Central School PTA hosted the “Teenie Weenie” parade for children aged six and under. Children lined up at 1:00 p.m. to march through “Ball Park,” and judges awarded prizes for the most original, the most patriotic, and the prettiest. The Girl Scouts organized the Bicycle Parade, with prizes for the most patriotic, the most original, and the funniest. Not to be outdone, the Camp Fire Girls hosted a Costume Parade for children ages 7 to 16.

Following the parades, boys and girls participated in contests and races hosted by the Riverside Junior Chamber of Commerce. After the games, the Riverside and North Riverside Fire Departments competed in a water contest. The day’s festivities capped off with a Little League Baseball game.

Share your memories of Independence Day celebrations of the past in the comments!

 1960s water fight