• Photo slideshow: Huntington Park and Stone Creek neighborhood parades.
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Sidney Jacobs had just the thing to wear.
With her neighborhood’s Independence Day parade approaching, the 11-year-old dusted off the Wonder Woman costume she’s owned since third grade and added some red-white-and-blue accessories.
“My mom made this poofy skirt,” she said, pointing to her patriotic tutu.
Riffing on Wonder Woman’s invisible jet, Sidney fashioned a sign to carry along the parade route. “Has anyone seen my invisible bike?” it read.
The costume earned her top prize in the Stone Creek Homeowners Association’s Fourth of July Parade, one of many such events held throughout the city on Thursday. As Ralston prepared for its high-profile parade, neighborhoods across the metro staged festivities of their own, taking advantage of the day’s perfect weather to celebrate the holiday.
In the Huntington Park neighborhood near 156th and Blondo Streets, a group of 20 parents and kids lined up for a short trip from a playground to a nearby pavilion.
Leading the way was Michelle Fryzek, who also organizes the neighborhood’s fall festival and Easter egg hunt.
“OK, should we get going?” she said, striking up “The Stars and Stripes Forever” on a boombox and heading off along the Huntington Trail.
Near the middle of the pack, the parade’s unofficial grand marshal, 2-year-old John Reinhardt, rode in a red wagon festooned with American flags. Gussied up for the occasion in a seersucker jacket, he also sported an Uncle Sam top hat, bow tie and sunglasses, all in red, white and blue.
The winning ensemble earned him a Target gift card at the pavilion, where kids slurped on Bomb Pops and nibbled on patriotic sugar cookies.
Though a relatively small gathering, the Huntington parade was a pleasant surprise for John’s aunt, Cathy, who arrived from Atlanta the night before and had hoped to see a parade of some sort.
Thursday morning, she woke to commotion in her brother’s home, not realizing there really was a parade to get to.
“Put on your red, white and blue, and go,” she said, joking that the miniature parade was her reason for making the trip.
A few miles north, in Stone Creek, more than a hundred people made their way from a cul-de-sac to a park a few blocks away. The Bennington Fire Department led the way, towing a display trailer that carried a beam from the World Trade Center wrapped in an American flag.
Following their lead, dozens of kids rode decorated bikes, tricycles, scooters and Power Wheels, with the littlest among them towed in wagons.
Organizer Kristi Jacobs, Sidney’s mother, said Stone Creek’s Independence Day parade has taken place for close to a decade and gets a little bigger each year. Pulling a red wagon carrying her daughter Olivia, Jacobs handed red-white-and-blue leis to neighbors lining the parade route and made announcements on a bullhorn.
“I’ve always done it, ever since my (older) kids were little,” Jacobs said. “This is just one more thing for the kids to do.”
Making up the rear of the parade was a cavalcade of five flag-toting convertibles, including a pristine 1962 Corvette — red, of course.
The parade traveled up 165th Street to the park, where treats were consumed, glow sticks handed out and awards presented for best bike decoration (a collective win for the Salman family) and best costume.
Her award for the latter in hand, Sidney Jacobs took in the pageantry of her community’s annual celebration.
“I always love doing it, because you get to see all the people in our neighborhood,” she said. “And you get to meet new people.”
It’s like a reunion, the soon-to-be sixth-grader said, waxing nostalgic in her Wonder Woman gear as she scanned the crowd.
“I’ve seen some of my old friends,” she said.