IL-Chicago-City of Chicago Costume Parade-October 18, 2003

Moderator: Garrison Officers

Post Reply
User avatar
MWG Member
MWG Member
Posts: 12787
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2001 8:48 pm
501st Legion ID: 9989
Location: Chicago

IL-Chicago-City of Chicago Costume Parade-October 18, 2003

Post by TKvanB »

Name of Event: City of Chicago Costume Parade
Date(s): 18 October 2003
Place: Downtown Chicago
Coordinator/Point of Contact: Kathy

Link to event Information: MWG Illinois Board

Pictures Located at:
TK 257 Pictures
MWG Webpages
Well, unfortunately the City of Chicago Halloween Happening parade was canceled yesterday. The Mayor's Department of Special Events decided to do this in light of the deadly fire tragedy in the County Building on Friday, October 17th. The fire broke out around 5:00pm in Cook County State's Attorney's office and 6 people lost their lives. I understand the City's decision to cancel the parade.

We got the call at my house at about 10:00am when there were 17 people: TK9989, Queen Quincy, TK0585, Caitlin, TK257, Andrea, TK549, TB3011, TK118, TK604, TB0101, TK737, Jackkillian, BH412, Sithcamaro, Darthgoat and JediJeff were all dressed in costumes or ready to go. We got a second call about 5 minutes later from the Mayor's office with the same news.

We quickly came to our own decision to proceed with our plans to take the train downtown and meet with the other members of the MWG, Rebel Legion and Chicago Force who did not receive the call and then play it by ear as far as
what we would end up doing.

We first caused a commotion here in the neighborhood. Several of the neighbors came out to see if indeed they were not going crazy and there really were about a dozen Stormtroopers surrounding Darth Vader---and Jango & Boba Fett--live and in person on Maplewood Ave.

The train ride was an other interesting experience for all involved! Jango convinced the Rockwell station attendant to comp a few of our fares, but after the man saw the seemingly never-ending line of folks wearing white plastic, he made me pay a for some of the fares. We certainly turned quite a few heads as the car we were all on pulled up to every station on the brown line.

We made our way to the designated meeting place at State & Wacker where we found Jedis Phyllis & Mary and Hawk-Bat from the Chicago Force along with a fellow dressed as a spectacular EP IV Obi Wan Kenobi and Twi'Leck Jedi Aayla
Secura. (Sorry, I can't remember your names right now) The good Fairies from the Chicago Force were packing their lovely costumes into their car. They had already committed to doing some decorating for the West Suburban Symphony concert later in the evening.

Prince Xizor, TA2215 and TK1218 were at the meeting place in costume with their friends, Patrick, Lucy and families
Batmommy and the little ones.

Since the weather was so unbelievably nice and we were so looking so good---we needed to find a great picture spot. We decided to start walking towards Michigan Ave. first destination, Grant Park. We were constantly stopped by passers by for photo opportunities and greeted the children with the candy we had planned on passing out at the parade. We walked down Wacker Drive to Michigan Ave. and headed South.

I remembered the new 'Peristyle' that was recently completed in the new Millennium Park. That should offer a picturesque spot. We lined up along the dry fountain and posed for many pictures.

Then we moved on down the Grant park side of Michigan Ave. towards the steps of the Art Institute of Chicago where we lined up for an other round of pictures. Many of us were getting slightly thirsty and attempted to commandeer the bar at Bennigans, but it proved unsuccessful, so we moved on
west down Adams Street to State Street. We headed North on State Street again being stopped numerous times to pose for pictures and even causing minor fender benders on State Street.

We wound our way to Daley "Pumpkin" Plaza on Randolph & Dearborn. It was kind of eerie to look at the scene of the tragedy from the night before. The county building was roped off with barricade tape and surrounded by many official fire investigation vehicles. Ellen, from the Mayor's Office of Special events saw us and came and talked to me. I expressed our deepest sympathies for their loss. I talked to her for a while and she was totally impressed with our costumes and that we did come out and enjoy the day.
She was also sorry the parade and the days events were canceled and she said that she really hoped we could all come back next year. I said we certainly would!

There were so many people in Daley Plaza that wanted to pose with us for pictures. An older man was so happy to see us--he had his wife take a picture with him and me. He could barely speak any English, but couldn't stop smiling. I attempted to ask where they were from, and they figured out what I was asking. They said Poland. They should have some interesting pictures from their holiday in America to show the relatives back home.

We wound our way through the crowds of kids of all ages.
We made a quick stop at McDonald's for a drink and then went on to the Clark & Lake station where we boarded the train.

The afternoon parade through the Rockwell crossing made the neighborhood shop owners rub their eyes in disbelief when the return procession of Darth Vader, Stormtroopers and company marched back to my house.

We changed out of armor and headed over to Garcia's, the restaurant in our neighborhood preferred by the Midwest Garrison. After a fine lunch, TK549 shocked and surprised the entire party by settling the bill. Thank you again TK549. You completely eliminated the traditionally lengthy process of the MWG trying to figure out the bill.

We headed back to my place to get the convoy together to go to the West Suburban Symphony concert.
That is an other story, and also went very well.

I can't begin to tell everyone how much fun I had yesterday.
I got home after the symphony and laid down and I still felt like I was wearing my armor.

That hasn't happened to me since I first wore my armor.
My arms ache today from toting around the Imperial pumpkin filled with NERDS.

My face aches from smiling so much.
This was totally worth clearing out my house a bit to have everyone over.

Thanks Everyone!

-Submitted by Kathy
The Midwest Garrison members together with costumers from The Chicago Force and The Rebel Legion converged on Downtown Chicago to participate on what was to be a city parade to celebrate the Halloween season. The tragic and unforeseen event* of the night before caused the parade to be canceled with only a moment's notice. Having heard of the cancellation only after arriving, MWG, CF and RL members alike staged an impromptu parade through the city on an alternate parade route.

- Submitted by Thomas

TK/SL/ID 549
Midwest Garrison
501st Legion

Post Reply