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Lansing is going Looney for this year’s Good Neighbor Day Parade

LANSING, Ill. (January 15, 2023) – The Village is officially going Looney.

Or at least it will come May, as the theme for the 56th Annual Good Neighbor Day Parade has been announced as Lansing Goes Looney…Tunes.

“The thought behind the theme was, let’s dress up like cartoon characters and let’s have some fun,” said Susan Thompson, executive director for the Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce.

So while Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, or even Porky Pig would be appropriate, any cartoon character will do.

The Good Neighbor Day Parade is traditionally held the first Saturday in May.

good neighbor day parade
Families lined Ridge Road to witness the 2023 Good Neighbor Day Parade. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

“This year it falls on May 4th, but we already did May the Fourth be with you two or three years ago,” said Thompson, alluding to a previous Star Wars theme.

A Calvin Coolidge Elementary float during the “May the Fourth” Good Neighbor Day Parade in 2019. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

According to research conducted by Thompson, Lansing actually had a parade known as the Community Day Parade as far back as the 1940s when George H. Jones was village president.

Thompson said that in 1969 it became known as the Good Neighbor Day Parade sponsored by the Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce.

The purpose of the parade is to promote Lansing and its businesses, schools, churches, parks, and service organizations while bringing neighbors together.

“People who are in the parade give out fliers and candy and information, and it’s just a way for people to come together and celebrate,” Thompson said.

Participating in the parade

There is no parade entry fee for chamber members, but there is a $100 fee for non-members.

“That money all goes to our Family Giving Program so we can purchase gifts at the end of the year for the children who otherwise would not have a holiday,” Thompson said.

Thompson said 60 to 70 entries are necessary to put on a decent parade, and the parade was in jeopardy of being canceled in 2023.

“We had approximately 60 last year,” Thompson said. “But going back a few years, we used to have 100 to 110.”

Lansing Little Leaguers were out in force.

Parade route

Participants line up down Wentworth Avenue for the parade that starts at Wentworth and Ridge Road and travels west to Burnham Avenue before turning south to its ending point at Thornton Fractional South High School.

The parade used to travel down Ridge to Torrence Avenue and end in Lan-Oak Park where a picnic was held, but Thompson said the route had to be changed a few years ago.

“The problem is that Torrence Avenue is owned by the State of Illinois and they no longer will allow us to shut it down for a parade,” Thompson said.

Those who want to enter the parade that will kick off at 2 p.m. on May 4 can register at chamberoflansing.com.

“We want as many people in attendance as possible, and we want as many entries as possible to bring them a good parade,” Thompson said.

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Paul Czapkowicz
Paul Czapkowicz
Paul Czapkowicz has served as a correspondent for the Northwest Indiana Times, so he is familiar with local politics, local business, and local goings-on in general. His training as a teacher gives him an innate sense of how to present facts in an organized and meaningful way, so readers gain understanding of complex subjects.