WAYNE – The 50th anniversary Flag Day Parade will step off at 4 p.m. June 10 in the village of Wayne, capped by an ice cream social and music.
Initiated to observe the Illinois sesquicentennial in 1968, the parade has become an annual tradition, a news release stated. Parade participants will gather in front of the Post Office at Army Trail Road and Railroad Avenue at 3:30 p.m., with latecomers welcomed.
Children are the main attraction, with their decorated bikes and wagons. The Wayne Historic Preservation Society hands out balloons, creating a red, white and blue procession.
The parade starts at 4 p.m., rain or shine, and ends 10 minutes later in front of Little Home Church by the Wayside two blocks away. Parade spectators and participants are invited to enjoy ice cream with slices of homemade cake donated by residents. A Dixieland band will perform.
After the Pledge of Allegiance, Village President Eileen Phipps will present the Citizen of the Year – recognized for outstanding contribution to life in the village. This year, the creator of Wayne’s first Flag Day, Barbara Lyon, will be honored.
In 1968, Lyon brought the idea of Flag Day to Wayne from her hometown of Hudson, Ohio. She pitched the idea to the Women’s Fellowship at Little Home Church in Wayne whom she credits with bringing Flag Day to life and sustaining it all these years.
When speaking about the Flag Day Parade, Lyon began crying, the release stated.
“I am crying now and I cried then because the Flag Day Parade and Ice Cream Social was so touching,” Lyon said in the release. “The town was so little and [the parade] included everybody, which added to the significance of the day in small town America.”
The Community Association of Wayne and Little Home Church provide support for the Flag Day Parade and Ice Cream Social.