CRYSTAL LAKE – Richard Harms, owner of Countryside Flower Shop and Nursery in Crystal Lake. has been named as the 2013 grand marshal for the Independence Day Parade.
Harms has been a McHenry County resident all his life and a Crystal Lake businessman since 1973 when he and James Riedl purchased Countryside Flower Shop and Nursery, 5301 E. Terra Cotta Ave,
“It’s quite an honor, I was very surprised,” Harms said. “I was sort of in shock I was selected as grand marshal.”
The Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the Crystal Lake Lions Club, the city of Crystal Lake and the Northwest Herald to present this year’s parade at 1 p.m. Sunday, July 7. The parade follows its historical 1.8-mile route beginning at City Hall, proceeding down Dole Avenue and ending at the Lakeside Festival grounds.
Event sponsors are Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital, Centegra Health System and Home State Bank.
According the chamber President Gary Reece, Harms has volunteered countless hours to the Crystal Lake chamber and Downtown Crystal Lake/Main Street Association. He has been a member of the Crystal Lake chamber since 1982 and served as the Ambassador chairman and on the Golf Outing Committee. He won the Robert O. Covey Business of the Year Award in 2004, the Presidential Award of Excellence and the Pride in Crystal Lake Award in 2010. He continues to serve as a chamber Ambassador.
He has served as a board member and past president of the Downtown Crystal Lake/Main Street Association. He has helped design, plant, and maintain flower beds and baskets in the downtown area, and in the winter helps oversee the installation of garland, lights and other holiday decorations throughout downtown. In addition, Countryside maintains and improves the flower beds and landscape of the historic Raue House.
“There is no stronger supporter than Richard Harms for the Main Street program,” said Main Street Executive Director Diana Kenney.
Kenney said Harms recognizes and actively works to help the Crystal Lake Chamber and beautify Downtown Crystal Lake. “He is a firm believer in giving back to the community that has contributed so much to the success of Countryside and his family,” Kenney said.
This year’s parade lineup will include the return of many favorite entries, including the Crystal Lake Strikers, the South Shore Drill Team, the Sinful Saint, and the internationally known Jesse White Tumbling Team. Many officials from Crystal Lake and McHenry County will greet the crowd, as well as past grand marshals and Miss Crystal Lake Maggie Tremblay.