Is it true what they say, everyone loves a parade?

We will be driving The Eagle van in the parade this year. Please make sure you look for us. We will have fun stuff to hand out. Thank you for letting us be part of your family's St. Patrick's Day tradition.


It got me thinking about how I was afraid of parades when I was younger.

Have you ever heard the song "I Love A Parade?"

To be honest for a long time, I didn't love parades. It came from a bad experience I had as a kid.

I grew in Villa Park, a west suburb of Chicago. The next town over is Lombard. Every year in mid-May, they host the Lilac Festival. It has several activities including a parade.

It was our family tradition to go to it every year. In fact the day before I was born, my parents were at the Lilac Parade. So after that, my birthday was always right around the festival.

My parents added my birthday to the family tradition. They would invite our friends and family to go to the parade and then go back to our house for a cook out and cake.

Like any parade, there were many local groups and organizations that participate by having a float or march in it.

One of the bigger groups to be involved was the YMCA Guides and Princesses. Back when I was a kid, they were called by the politically incorrect name Indian Guides and Princesses. The name was changed a few years.

There were a lot of kids, so instead of having them all march in the parade. They would put them on semi truck trailers. Then the parent volunteers would walk along with the trucks.

The parents didn't come empty handed. Each of them had a jar of face paint. As they walked down the parade route, they would mark kid's faces with the paint. Again remember this was many years ago, if it sounds offensive.

Most of the children enjoyed getting their faces painted. Many of them couldn't wait to get it done, so they would run up to the volunteers to get it down.

Some of the children didn't enjoy it. I was one of those kids.

You would think if a child didn't want their face painted, they could simply say no and the adult volunteer would on. Nope, that's not how it worked. Remember this was many years ago.

They would still try to paint the kid's face. Some kids, including myself would run. They would chase and catch you.

Plus the organization was so big, they would have several different groups throughout the parade. That meant the process happened several times.

All the parents thought this whole thing was hilarious. I begged not to go, but they continued to make me.

After a couple of years, I got smart. I started to watch out for them. When they started to get close, I would go hide.

I'm not sure why I was so scared to get my face painted. A few years later, I let it happen. No big deal. Then I got too old for them to do it.

Nowadays, I just laugh thinking about getting chased by someone wanting to paint my face. Plus, I really enjoy going to parades.


More From 96.7 The Eagle