Serving as the grand marshal of the parade, the U.S. military veterans from Cicero and Berwyn were honored as part of the 47th Annual Houby Day Festival held the first weekend of October. The event focuses on the contributions of the early settlers of the two communities who are of Czech and Slovak descent. The two Bohemian groups immigrated to the Chicagoland area during the 1900s and occupied the western Chicago from Pilsen on to Berwyn.
“We may not have as many Bohemians here in Cicero as we did in the past, but it is great to see so many people come out to celebrate our Town’s history,” said Cicero Town President Larry Dominick. Thousands of people lined Cermak Avenue on Sunday, October 4, to watch as clowns, costumed heroes, military personnel, cars and many floats from both communities, the two elementary school districts, Morton High School District 201 and Morton College paraded from Berwyn into Cicero. Next year’s parade will switch direction, originating in Cicero and traveling down to Berwyn.
The festival began on Thursday, October 1 and ran through October 4 along the “L” strip behind Cermak Road. This year’s celebration featured foods from around the neighboring communities, live bands, as well as the Houby Pageant on September 29, where 17-year-old Stephanie Garcia was crowned Houby Queen.