Myrtle Johnson, 2015 Somers Parade Marshall
(Photo by Stolfi)


The parade theme for 2015 was “Remembering Our Past: Somers’ 50th Parade.”   Since Myrtle Johnson planned the first Civic Parade 50 years ago, it was only fitting to honor her as our parade Grand Marshall this year.  We have been so fortunate to have had another beautiful day, sunny skies and 80 degree temperatures.  Starting at 1:30, the Cub Scout Pack #436 preceded the parade by handing flags donated by David Leet Post #552 to bystanders to wave at the veterans.  At 2:00 sharp, the Somers Fire & Rescue Department and several local departments sounded their sirens to the delight of the crowd. Ron Bailey of Silverspoon Entertainment proceeded throughout the route and parked at Fire Station #1 to announce veterans and parade participants.  He was followed by American Legion Color Guard Post #552 and Bagpiper Mary and her husband on drums to set the stage for fourteen vehicles carrying American veterans. Myrtle Johnson was honored as this year’s Parade Marshall, driven by Mr. & Mrs. Stolfi.  This year’s entertainment included the Lutheran Vanguard Band, American Band, Rambler Band, SLHS Band, KR Bluegrass band, Mike Schneider’s Polka Band, MGV Harmonia, River City Rhythm, and Jolly Giant Stilt-walkers. There were several gorgeous floats entered:  Snap-On Tools, Somers Community Church, Parkside Baptist Church, Burr Oaks Greenhouse, Somers Chargers 4-H and Relay for Life. The parade also included Elvis the Kenosha Kingfish mascot, boy scout troops, and local, county and state politicians. Local businesses included Jerry Smith’s Farm, Walmart, Kenosha News, Wausau Homes and Michael DeLuca Realty.  Four theater/arts groups participated; Step by Step Academy, Dazzlin’ Divas, Children’s Theatre Academy and Cashel Dennehy School of Irish Dance.  Local farmer’s tractors, classic cars and bikes, Miss Bristol, Miss Pleasant Prairie, and horses from the Leoris’ and the Sorensen’s, which are always a favorite. There were 85 entries in total. Approximately 5,000 people set up chairs and tents along the route to enjoy the parade and catch hundreds of pounds of candy tossed to eager faces. The parade route began at the west exit of Shoreland Lutheran High School, proceeded east down Highway E and turned the corner at EA (72nd Avenue) ending at Somers Elementary.
The Town of Somers Fire & Rescue Association sold food and beverages at Fire Station #1 and along the parade route before the start of the parade to hungry parade bystanders. Immediately following the parade we enjoyed our traditional ice cream social, served by volunteers from Bethany Lutheran Church. The Big Balloon Tycoon made balloon animals for the children!  For continued enjoyment after the parade, the KR Bluegrass Band performed in the fire department’s parking lot. Cake, donated by Walmart, and water and soda donated by the proprietors of 7-Eleven, were enjoyed by those who joined us at the Town Hall.
The parade committee continued the tradition of supporting the parade solely on generous sponsor donations the Town greatly appreciates!  This year’s sponsors were Walmart, Sam’s Club, Huck Realty, Stainless Products, Tri City Bank, Davison Law, CJW Inc., Gregg Sinnen, Associated Appraisal Consultants, Reesman Excavating, Nielsen, Madsen & Barber, Draeger-Langendorf Funeral Home, Inc., GAI Consultants,  Lee Plumbing Mechanical Contractors, Andrea & Orendorff LLP, Dejno’s Inc., Lifeline Billing Systems, Kenosha News, Lakeside International, Somers Fire & Rescue Association, Bear Realty, Jerry Smith Farms, Carl’s Wood Floors, Jockey International, Hastings Air, Mayer Repair, 7-Eleven, Ben and Bette Harbach, Edna Highland, and J. Schantek.  Again, Ron Bailey’s services (Silverspoon Entertainment) of deejaying at the staging of the parade and announcing the parade entries at Fire Station #1was much appreciated.  Shoreland Lutheran High School and Somers Elementary were gracious hosts allowing us to utilize their parking lots for staging and ending the parade.  Somers’ Public Works, led by Jerry Smith and Robert Rojas, was very helpful once again, and Pat’s Services also provided a free portable for parade-goers.
Somers Independence Day Parade and Ice Cream Social 2016 will be on July 4th at 2:00.  The Somers Parade Committee thanks the sponsors, residents and bystanders that make this the most anticipated event of the Town & Village! 
Respectfully submitted,
Somers Parade Committee