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Edgebrook 4th of July to Celebrate Completion of Mural

 What was once a crumbling, graffiti-covered disgrace is now a landmark depicting Edgebrook's history and lush vegetation.
Neighborhood Connection Project
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EDGEBROOK — The Edgebrook 4th of July Parade will celebrate the completion of a painted and mosaic mural along the path under the Metra tracks at Lehigh, Hiawatha and Kinzua avenues, organizers with the Edgebrook Community Association said.

Work on the final phase of the mural will start Monday, the last step in completing the project started in 2010 designed to turn the underpass, once a crumbling, graffiti-covered disgrace, into a landmark depicting the area's history and lush vegetation.

The theme of the 4th of July parade is Building Community – Discover The Connection, inspired by the mural's efforts to bring Edgebrook and Wildwood together, as well as efforts to bring new life to downtown Edgebrook, organizers said.

Marchers will step off at 11 a.m. July 4 from Edgebrook Elementary School, 6525 N. Hiawatha Ave., and head to Wildwood Elementary School, 6950 N. Hiawatha Ave.

The leaders of the mural project will be the parade's grand marshals, organizers said.

Prizes will be given by the Edgebrook Community Association for the best float, most patriotic dog, coolest car, most school spirit, best decorated bike, most participation and several surprise categories, organizers said.

A picnic at Wildwood Park will follow the parade at noon. Food will be available for purchase, and the band Cropduster 4 will perform classic country music, organizers said. Attendees are welcome to bring blankets and lawn chairs.

The mural — known as the Neighborhood Connection Project — will cover both sides of the underpass linking Edgebrook, Wildwood and North Edgebrook when it is completed this summer.

The route of the 4th of July parade is designed to to connect Edgebrook and Wildwood, in honor of the mural, which will also link the two communities, organizers said.

Members of the community are invited to work on the mural — under the supervision of artists from Green Star Movement — on Saturdays in July, said Jac Charlier, a member of the Edgebrook Community Association board of directors and mural project coordinator.

The second phase of the mural along the western side of underpass linking Edgebrook, Wildwood and North Edgebrook was completed last summer, with the eastern side of the mural completed in 2013.

Once the two sides of the mural are connected with golden tiles — representing the golden spike that once joined the train tracks across America — it will be the largest public art project on the Far Northwest Side, Charlier said.

Those who are interested in donating to the next phases of the mural can go to greenstarmovement.org or email Charlier at jac.charlier@gmail.com.

For more information about the parade, call 773-775-4065 or go to edgebrookcommunity.org.

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