Independence Day means a lot to every community in Northwest Indiana. But for Hobart, the 4th of July represents an opportunity for the community to gather for the city’s biggest celebrations downtown.
Each year the parade gets bigger and bigger and each year more and more people pack the city’s downtown Lakefront Park to see the parade and fireworks show that entertain and pay tribute to our nation’s independence. With over 100 entries and nearly 6,000 attendees expected, the 2016 parade is one of the biggest in some time.
“The Hobart Chamber loves helping out with the parade every year,” said Lisa Winstead, Executive Director of the Hobart Chamber of Commerce. “We could not do it without the assistance of Hobart’s City of Hobart and Special Events, the Police Department, Fire Department, and Hobart City Sanitation.”
The parade is organized by the Hobart Chamber of Commerce each year, with countless volunteer hours going into ensuring one of the region’s biggest - if not best- parades. This year’s parade had the theme, “Hobart History”, after the committee decided to honor the memory of the late Virginia Curtis, a longtime Hobart volunteer and influencer in the community.
“Virginia has played a huge part in Hobart's History over the last 50 years, especially when it came to the 4th of July,” explained Nikki Lopez, Events Director for the City of Hobart. “We wanted to dedicate Hobart's Independence Day to her this year and showcase the festivities of years past in the 2016 issue of the Chamber of Commerce 4th of July book.
This year’s Grand Marshall were the honorable Judge James Moody and his wife, Kaye. The appointment of the Moodys was perfect for the theme of the parade, as Moody’s serve to the Hobart community dates back to 1964, when he was first appointed City Attorney by then-Mayor “Red” Titus.
“The Moodys are great representatives for the parade,” explained Winstead. “Kaye even founded the College of Court reporting here in town in 1984.”
Once again the parade’s family-friendly nature allowed thousands to enjoy Hobart’s downtown on a beautiful summer Monday morning. The family friendly event was great for longtime residents and first-time parade-goers alike.
“Growing up, I went to Wisconsin for the parade each year,” said Hobart resident Ralph Lundewall, who brought his son Jack to his first parade this year. “We love that the lake is here since a lot of communities don’t have that.”
For those who live outside of Hobart, or if readers have not experienced a true, community-focused Fourth of July celebration, Lopez recommends giving Hobart a try in 2017.
“There is something for everyone, whether it be spectacular floats, shaking hands with your elected officials, seeing the kiddos represent their youth sports teams, local bands, new and existing business in town, and too much else to mention, I could go on forever,” said Lopez.
For more information on the events and programs hosted by the Hobart Chamber of Commerce, click here.