Hundreds of Somers residents, their families and members of nearby communities lined up on both sides of Highway E for the annual Somers Fourth of July Parade. This parade returned this year after being off last year due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
While waiting for floats, fire trucks and bands, spectators watched a one-mile race along the route.
2021 parade report from the Somers Parade Committee
The Somers Parade Committee began meeting in January to plan this year’s Independence Day Parade and Ice Cream Social. We chose “Somers’ 4th – A Good Ol’ Hometown Parade” as our theme and Deborah Ford from UW Parkside as our Grand Marshal. The parade committee consists of the following volunteers: J. Schantek, Ben Harbach, Al Ferber, and Vern Kotten.
After cancelling the festivities in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic and social unrest, we were excited to bring this tradition back to our community! Due to uncertainty of CDC restrictions and guidelines back in January, we made the decision to only plan the parade and not the ice cream social, which was always held indoors at the Somers Village Hall. The Kenosha Running Club kicked things off at 1:15 p.m., running the route from the intersection of Highways E and H to Somers Elementary. At 1:25 p.m., volunteers from Somers Elementary handed out just under 5,600 flags donated by David Leet Post #552 to parade-goers. Ron Bailey of Silverspoon Entertainment deejayed during staging at Shoreland Lutheran High School from noon to 2 p.m. and began the parade with the “Star-Spangled Banner” prior to the Somers Fire and Rescue Department along with several local departments blaring sirens to begin the parade.
The Veterans Section of the parade included: The American Legion Color Guard Post #522 and veterans in vehicles, Mi-T Bagpiper Michael O’Connell, VFW Post #7308 & Auxiliary, Tom Giles, Navy Club Ship 40, Julius Mianecki, Daughters of the Revolution, and Lot 31 Auto Sales.
Parade Marshal Deborah Ford was accompanied by Parkside staff and students, followed by Richard Krause transporting the Shoreland Lutheran High School Student Council and Shoreland Lutheran High School band.
Political entries included State politicians Bob Wirch, Samantha Kerkman and Tip McGuire; County representatives David Beth’s armored vehicle, squads and the Honor Guard including Ray Rowe, Rebecca Matoska-Mentink, and Teri Jacobson; Somers Village Board rode in a trailer provided by Joe Smith followed by Municipal Judge Bob Kupfer. Both the Republican and Democratic Parties had a float also.
General Parade entries included Miss Bristol, Baby Boomer’s Bike Club, Cub Scout Pack 422, Jim Buskirk, Culver’s, Kenosha Kingfish, Festival Foods, Somers Chargers 4-H Club, Snap-On, Root-Pike WIN, Jim Gourley, Angels of Hope, Scott Delabio & the Crazy Charlie Band, SE WI Paranormal Investigative Team, Dale Wamboldt, Mighty Mite Cars, Mr. Blue, Don’s/Pro Towing, McDevitt’s Towing, and Otto Nelson Moving & Storage.
Several antique cars were enjoyed by parade-goers, as also several tractors driven by local farmers and horses added to the rural atmosphere of our agricultural community.
This year’s paid entertainment included the Mike Schneider Polka Band, KR Bluegrass Band, MGV Harmonia, WL Vanguard Band, Mariachi Band, CYO Emerald Nights Band and Guard, Elkhorn Lion’s Club Car, Uncle Sam & Libby Stiltwalkers, Arik the Wandering Juggler, Sam the Wheeler & The Giant Bike, and River City Rhythm. In all there were over 80 entries.
Somers Independence Day Parade is solely funded by the generous support of the following sponsors: Albor Restaurant Group, LLC, Andrea & Orendorff, Baxter & Woodman, CJW Inc., Davison Law Firm, Dejno’s Trucking, Dooley & Associates, Draeger-Langendorf Funeral Home, First Industrial Realty, Hansen’s Pool & Spa, Ben & Bette Harbach, Huck Realty, The Hob Nob, Lot 31 Auto Sales, Johns Disposal, Nielsen, Madsen & Barber, Pritzker Military Museum & Library, Proko Funeral Home, Protective Coatings (LineX), Ravine Park Partners (Hawthorn Apartments), Reesman’s Excavating & Grading, Riley Construction, 7-Eleven, SCS Pike Creek LLC, Gregg Sinnen, Smet Roofing, Stark Paving, Suburban Garden Center, James Armes, Tithof Tile & Marble, Tri City National Bank, Jackie & TG Nelson, and Karl Ostby. Pat’s Services gives us a discount on portable, handicapped restrooms we place along the parade route. Shoreland Lutheran High School and Somers Elementary allow us to use their properties for staging, the end of the parade and parking.
The 2022 Somers Independence Day Parade and Ice Cream Social will be on Monday, July 4th at 2 p.m. We welcome volunteers interested in committing to planning the parade with us next year. Volunteers on this committee meet from January to July. If interested in being a part of this committee, please contact J. Schantek at 262-818-4448. We contact veterans and entertainment, communicate with businesses and local area institutions, write grants, publicize, and plan staging and line up. Seeing the excitement of Somers residents and parade-goers is worth every second of the time and dedication involved!
Somers Parade Committee