Despite the clouds and chilly gusts, thousands turned out to celebrate St Patrick’s Day in Lake Villa. Throngs of parade watchers lined the streets with the crowd said to be the biggest since covid. At times, the crowd moved into the street making it difficult for parade vehicle to move. But all had a great time.

The parade began with the traditional VFW members bearing the colors and followed by fire trucks, young beauty pageant winners and local business entries driving sports cars.

There was also an abundance of elected officials and activist groups present.

Congressman Brad Schneider, State Senator Mary Edly-Allen, Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart, Lake County Treasurer Holly Kim, Circuit Court Clerk Erin Cartwright Weinstein and State Central Committeeman Tom Mallard shook hands and passed out candy to young parade attendees.

Of particular note was the mammoth presence of Lake County Democrats.

The Lake Villa Democrats, Indivisible Western Lake County and the Lake County Democratic Party had at least 50 marchers.

Local republicans had a presence but it was not as big. Their parade entry centered around a military troop transport vehicle emblazoned with Trump flags that belched out acrid exhaust fumes.

All in all, everyone had fun and that is what its all about.