ELBURN – Young girls from M&M Dance showed off their moves, juking down Route 47 to the sounds of MC Hammer and the C+C Music Factory.
Employees from Jewel pushed shopping carts, tossing out bottles of water and a few other grocery items to those who lined the streets of downtown Elburn.
And Scouts of different ranks threw candy to fellow youths, who were lined up to watch Friday night as the Elburn Days parade kicked off the village’s signature festival.
Lasting more than 90 minutes, the parade brought out the Kaneland High School band, dancers, firefighters, Ronald McDonald, a guy raising a replica Stanley Cup and political types, who brought their dogs.
There also were a couple of train delays, which is to be expected in a town that sees several trains an hour cross Route 47.
The parade kicks off the Elburn Days festival, which is run by the Elburn Lions Club. Parade participants marched down Route 47, and the end puts them in the vicinity of the festival, which is at Lions Park at 500 Filmore St., Elburn.
Near the end of the parade, the Kindness Campaign, clad in bright green T-shirts, marched with 85 participants.
The group launched earlier this year, as a companion group to the Knights Against Bullying, who have pushed for changes in Kaneland School District 302.
Renee Dee, one of the leaders of the Kindness Campaign, said she was thrilled with the turnout, and she was excited that some Kaneland administrators – including Superintendent Jeff Schuler – were among those wearing green shirts and marching with the group.
Schuler said it was the first time he participated in the parade.
“It’s a good message and a good cause,” Schuler said.
Big crowds watched the parade, lining Route 47 from north of the downtown area to near Lions Park.
Kaneville resident Mary Nicely was folding up her blanket after the last entrants had passed.
She said it’s a tradition she wouldn’t think of missing, as she’s been attending them for decades and has staked out the same spot – south of the railroad tracks – for 10 years.
She said she arrives at 8 a.m. on parade day to claim her spot, and that dozens of others are doing the same.
“You know a lot of people,” Nicely said of the attraction of the parade. “It’s a small town. It’s fun.”
Dale Garman, 59, smiled as he waited for a train to pass after the parade was completed. Garman, a Kaneland graduate, said he was in town for a reunion.
Garman now lives in California, but said he will return for such festivities.
He hadn’t been in town for 10 years, and said much had changed.
“It’s grown up,” he said.
The parade brought out classic cars and participants riding on farm equipment. As representatives from Old Second Bank rode by, “For the Love of Money” could be heard.
Ronald McDonald was in attendance, riding in a float shaped like a giant clown shoe.
The Kaneland High School band performed “Ease on Down the Road.”
The festival runs through Sunday at Lions Park, featuring carnival rides, live bands, food stands, a community stage and mud volleyball.
For information, visit www.elburnlions.com/elburn-days.
If you go The Elburn Days festival continues through Sunday at Lions Park, 500 Filmore St., Elburn. For information, visit www.elburnlions.com/elburn-days.