Zion-Benton Times - Community News - Your Life

Jubilee Days Parade, A Big Hit


September 7, 2018

StiltWalker Frank Brandall

The Jubilee Days Commission hosted their 70th Annual Festival September 1-3, 2018 highlighted by what some people are calling the largest parade in Illinois, trumping the Bud Billikin Day Parade of Chicago. Nearly 90 entries registered and most of them marched down the parade route. Some of the parade participants performed acts, like the Jessie White Tumblers, that left the thousands of viewers who lined the streets breathless.

Elite Drill Team

The Jessie White Tumblers stopped periodically and wowed bystanders with tall flips and breathtaking gymnastics. Several politicians like the City Commissioner Christopher Fischer, Commissioner Lloyd DeTienne, Commissioner Mike McDowell, and Commissioner Billy McKinney. , State Representative Sheri Jesiel, State Senator Melinda Bush, and U.S. Congressman Brad Schneider also participated. A stiltwalker, Frank Birdsall, riding a large oversized bicycle did "lou-lous" and a kid in a unicycle did circles. Several bands like the Banjo Buddies Dixieland Band, the Zion Elementary School District #6 Marching Band, the Chuck-A-Roo & the Fabulous Memories Band, and even the North Point Church Band played. Some were on large floats, some marched. There was a short man with a big head dressed in an Uncle Sam hat that kissed little babies, and of course, they were mesmerized. Many of the acts parading threw candy to children who ran to capture the prized treats.

Politicians, churches of all denomination, community activists, dog lover, drill teams, Queens, and schools (like Our Lady of Humility) fell in step as they paraded through the heart of the city.

The whole event created a sense of pride, tradition, and community. Due to the weather, the parade was shortened from about three hours to about two. But for those two hours, everyone seemed to forget who they were and enjoyed the show, and for that moment in time, everyone got along.

The parade created a wholesome sense of fellow comradery, even among chief enemies. It was a celebration of diversity, community spirit, and Jubilee.


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