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McHenry County's Fourth of July marked with fireworks, parades

Published: Friday, July 5, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, July 5, 2013 2:40 p.m. CDT
(Kyle Grillot - kgrillot@shawmedia.com)
Fireworks explode near Emricson Park to celebrate the fourth of July in Woodstock.

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SPRING GROVE – Madeline Ten Bruin rummaged through the plastic bag she had gathered all her loot in and pulled out a bright yellow box of Dots.

The 6-year-old Johnsburg girl collected the treats during the Spring Grove Fourth of July parade, which she went to see with her little brother and grandparents Thursday afternoon.

The parade of about 60 floats – including kids and adults showing off their martial arts, local sports teams, the Richmond-Burton Community High School marching band and the McHenry County Republican Party with a fake tank and even a real tank – wound its way through downtown Spring Grove.

Like many of the parade participants, B.J. Irwin, 33, of Johnsburg was decked out in a grass skirt in honor of the luau theme, but this year he also sported a Mohawk painted like the American flag that was copied on a much smaller scale by his little nephew and neighbor.

Irwin has participated in the parade for seven years with his brother, who races a sprint car mostly out of Wilmot Raceway.

“It was fun, all the people,” he said. “That’s why we do the Spring Grove parade every year. The people get really into it. They love the Fourth of July. It’s a really great group of people here. It’s fun to be able to participate and see everyone on the parade route and how excited the kids get. Adults too, they all get into it.”

After the parade – one of several celebrations that took place across McHenry County – most of the spectators and participants made their way to the Horse Fair Park where families gathered to eat, drink and talk.

Kids played carnival games like hobo bowling, basketball toss and magnet mania, all provide by Boy Scout Troop 349 – something Madeline Ten Bruin was particularly looking forward to because she was too young to play the last time she was there, said her grandmother, Linnea Ten Bruin of Spring Grove.

Besides the merriment, the day was marked with a moment of silence, a flyover and a single firework to proceed the evening fireworks show in honor of Pam Doughman, the vice president of the volunteer committee that puts on the Independence Day festivities every year.

Doughman died Tuesday from cancer, said Pat Mazzanti, the committee’s president and a village trustee. She was making calls and working on the celebrations up until the end.

“She was the consummate volunteer,” Mazzanti said. “The woman did everything. It’s as simple as that.”

Last week the Village Board awarded her the new lifetime community service award, which it named after her.

Besides serving on the July 4 committee for 24 years, Doughman also spent thousands of volunteer hours working for the village’s tree lighting ceremony, Easter egg hunt and Fall Fest, as well as at Spring Grove Elementary School and the Performing Arts of Spring Grove.

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