When a parade marches through town, people line the streets and join in civic pride! For that brief hour or two, all are friends and conflicts are put aside. Well, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but I really LOVE a parade and the feeling I get while attending one. In Buffalo Grove, we are fortunate to have a fabulous parade during Buffalo Grove Days. With 100 entrants, including floats and bands, our parade makes for great, end-of-the-summer entertainment. Sponsoring the parade this year is the Buffalo Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor on Lake-Cook Road. Thank you Buffalo!
In my humble opinion, marching bands are the best part of any parade. This is not clouded by the fact that I have been a “Band Mom” for seven years. I am happy to announce that this year, we are fortunate to have bands from Buffalo Grove High School, Stevenson High School, St. Mary’s School and Wheeling High School.
The Shriners will return with several of their uniquely entertaining entries. Look for the Krazy Klown Klub and lots of antique cars, including the Chain-O-Lakes Model A Club with approximately 12 – 16 Model As. We are also lucky to showcase Buffalo Grove’s Jewish War Veterans Post 89. They represent veterans from World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
Our parade’s Grand Marshall this year is Rick Kahen, a long-time advocate for disabled residents within our village. Rick first joined an advisory committee that worked with the village board and staff to address issues that are faced by people with disabilities. The committee also helped guide and advise any Buffalo Grove resident with questions or concerns regarding accessibility within the village.
“I joined in 1994 because I wanted to get involved in the community, and, as a handicapped person, I thought I could make a positive contribution,” said Rick.
The advisory committee eventually was formalized as the Commission for Residents with Disabilities. Rick was appointed Commission Chair in 2001 and served in that capacity until 2011. During his tenure as chair, the commission introduced Buddy Baseball as an annual event and expanded Buffalo Grove Days’ Food & Fun event for handicapped people and their immediate families. The commission worked with the Park District to improve accessibility at parks and facilities. During the Buffalo Grove Arts Festival, artists with disabilities show and sell their artwork in a program called “Unique Expressions.” Under Rick’s leadership, the Commission also raised awareness of its existence by creating an ongoing “Disability Awareness” campaign and by staffing information booths at various expos and fairs.
Rick and his wife, Candi, have a daughter and son-in-law, Allie and Danny Zalay.
Announcing the parade for the Comcast broadcast are two of Buffalo Grove’s veteran public servants: Bill Brimm and Chuck Johnson. Bill served for decades as a village employee eventually working his way up to the position of Village Manager. When he retired from that position in 2010, he was honored with the designation of Grand Marshall in the 2010 parade. Chuck, who happens to be my husband, served for several years as an Appearance Commissioner, a Plan Commissioner and, ultimately, as a Village Trustee. When appointed to his current job as a judge in the 19th Judicial Circuit in 2005, he was required to resign from his elected position. Otherwise, he would be proud to still serve on the Village Board.
The parade kicks off at 1 pm on Sunday, Sept. 2 at Bernard and Regent Drives, proceeding east on Bernard Drive to Raupp Boulevard, turning north to St. Mary’s Parkway.
Check back here for updates on Buffalo Grove Days or visit the website at http://bgdays.com/.