HYDE PARK — Hyde Park’s Fourth on 53rd Parade always offers a more than a few surprise marchers among the community groups and politicians who march down 53rd Street.
“Our motto is everyone marches and no one watches,” said Stephanie Franklin, one of the organizers of the parade.
Onlookers are encouraged to join in the parade, which makes it fun and unpredictable for the crowd and organizers. Franklin said that last year state Rep. Donne Trotter (D-Chicago) showed up unannounced with a car to drive in the parade.
The parade will be led by Scottish bagpipers followed by an honor guard of Girl Scouts. The passing of the Buffalo Soldiers on horseback marks the end of the parade every year.
The parade goes from the Hyde Park Bank parking lot south on South Lake Park Avenue to East 55th Street. The marchers will then turn east to parade along 55th Street and north on East Hyde Park Boulevard to 53rd Street.
After absorbing onlookers into the march down 53rd Street, the parade will end at Nichols Park, 1355 E. Hyde Park Blvd.
DJ Pete will be playing dance music in Nichols Park at the end of the parade and there will be a petting zoo, facepainting and other activities for children.
Unfortunately, Gendu the magician was cancelled because organizers could not secure a spot for him to perform in Murray Elementary School.
“We had to cancel Gendu because he can’t perform outside because his birds would escape,” Franklin said of the magician.