Parades in Sycamore, Illinois

by Jaime Swanson

Sycamore, Illinois is the county seat of DeKalb County, about 60 miles west of Chicago and about 30 miles south of Rockford. It is also the sister city of DeKalb, home to Northern Illinois University. With a little under 15,000 residents, Sycamore retains its small-town charm, which is reflected in its family-friendly festivals and parades.

Annual Classic Car Cruise Parade

The annual Classic Car Cruise Parade is part of the "Turn Back Time" weekend held in late July. On Saturday--"Cruise Night"--classic cars parade through the streets. There is also a '50s costume contest and a swing dancing competition with live music by bands such as "Vintage Vinyl." On Sunday, hundreds of classic cars are on display, organized by the Turning Back Time Car Club.

Wild West Kid's Parade

The Discover Sycamore Block Party in mid-September kicks off with a Wild West Kid's Parade. Children dress in cowboy costume and bring their decorated bicycles or wagons. They gather at the Midwest Museum of Natural History and parade down State Street to the specially designated kids' area near the corner of Somonauk and Elm Streets. There prizes are awarded for best costume and best decorated bike or wagon and the block party officially begins. The block party is a draw for the entire family, as the event includes games, prizes, crafts, music, food vendors and a beer garden.

Pumpkin Parade

The Sycamore Pumpkin Festival started in the early 1960s as a way to celebrate the harvest and the fall season. Held in late October, it features such events as a carnival, craft show, pie-eating contest, race and the Pumpkin Parade. The parade includes area high school marching bands and also the Northern Illinois University Huskie Marching Band. Floats from area organizations glide along the parade route in celebration of autumn.

Walk With Santa Parade

The holiday season traditionally starts with Thanksgiving but Sycamore celebrates it a little later. In early December, Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive at the Midwest Museum of Natural History on a firetruck. Children and their parents greet Santa there and form a parade behind him that travels down State Street to the Dekalb County Courthouse lawn for the traditional tree lighting ceremony. Children can visit with Santa and sing along with a local choir. Hot chocolate and cookies are provided.

About the Author

Jaime Swanson started working as a journalist in 2001. She has written and edited for newspapers in northern Illinois, including the "Daily Southtown" and the "Daily Herald," both in suburban Chicago. Swanson holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Northern Illinois University.