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Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Shore

July 4th On 53rd To Return To Hyde Park This Year — Minus The Parade

A day of kid-focused activities in Nichols Park will be held instead of the annual July 4 parade down 53rd Street.

Neighbors at a "4th on 53rd" Parade in Hyde Park.
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HYDE PARK — Though organizers canceled Hyde Park’s Independence Day parade for a second straight year, they’ll mark the occasion with a day of outdoor festivities.

The 4th on 53rd celebration is 11 a.m.-3 p.m. July 4 at Nichols Park, 1355 E. 53rd St.

Local band Bryant and the Blues Kings and magician John Measner will perform throughout the activity day. Black Girls Jump will hold double Dutch demonstrations, while Mary Macaroni will lead arts, crafts and “a certain amount of magic, too,” organizer Dave White said.

The bike-decorating session “that’s one of the iconic activities of the parade” will still be held, and there will be a photo booth to capture attendees’ creations, said White, a Nichols Park Advisory Council member.

A bean bag toss with a chance to win prizes, hula hoops and other games that are mainstays of the annual parade will also be held. A disc golf demonstration at the park’s putting basket is new for this year’s celebration, and participants can receive a disc for playing.

Since kids under 12 still aren’t able to receive a coronavirus vaccine, safety precautions will be in place. Activities and performances will be repeated through the afternoon, in an effort to prevent large groups from visiting the park for a single activity, White said.

“We’re spreading things out for a four-hour window … so you can come to the park and partake in the things you want, when you want,” he said.

The city issued a special event permit for the July 4 celebration last week, which will allow 300 attendees at any given time, White said. Volunteers will ask people to spread out and visit other areas of the park if they notice large gatherings at certain activities.

A pumpkin patch and a kid-focused New Year’s Eve celebration last year gave the organizers “a couple practice runs” at in-person events, and they’re confident the event can provide a safe day of fun, White said.

The 4th on 53rd parade “has too much bunching at the beginning and end for it to be safely done,” though organizers didn’t foresee the full reopening of the city and state as they worked to finalize their plans, White said.

“Had we had our crystal ball, who knows what we would’ve planned,” he said.

The parade is set to return in 2022.

To volunteer for setup and cleanup at the July 4 event, email 4thon53rdhp@gmail.com.

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