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Lakewood 4th of July Parade — 25 years of neighborhood fun

What was Lakewood like millions of years ago?

We will see when Lakewood returns to prehistoric times for our 4th of July parade. Dinosaurs and cavemen will infiltrate the Lakewood community at 10 a.m., when mammoth reptiles stroll down Lakewood Boulevard in celebration of an independence they used take for granted.

As the Lakewood citizens prepare for this momentous day, much thought and frenzy will go into designing, building and decorating floats and creating costumes for the entire family so that we can all be a part of “Lakewood Goes Prehistoric.”

Spaces will be reserved along the parade route, which begins at Lakewood and Cambria and ends at the tennis courts at Tokalon and Winstead.

The cavemen chairing this year’s parade are Bill Duryee and Jim Hicks. Duryee, the unofficial mayor of Lakewood who also is known as “Uncle Sam,” will distribute the historic parade buttons and will deliver the State of the Lakewood Community Address.

The Lakewood parade started 25 years ago. The first parade consisted of several youngsters on bikes and started at Winstead and Lakewood, proceeding down to Delrose and Lakewood (approximately two blocks). A barbecue followed in a neighbor’s yard.

By the mid-’70s, young pioneers moved into the Lakewood community and the resurgence of Lakewood real estate and property values began. The parade route increased in distance and moved to its current starting point at Lakewood and Cambria. The parade ended with festivities at a vacant lot on the corner of Westlake and Copperfield.

By 1980, the parade route end moved to Tokalon and Winstead. Beginning in 1987, we were able to cool off under a tent provided by Bill Hammond. The theme that year was “Lakewood Under the Bigtop.”

The year my husband and I chaired is unforgettable. It was 1989, and “Ramses Raps in Lakewood” was the theme.

All who lived in Lakewood that year remember what happened on night of July 2. A savage storm swept through our neighborhood damaging and destroying homes. We were afraid there would be no parade.

As we toured the neighborhood, we were determined that the parade would go on. The parade committee and the Lakewood citizens walked and worked the parade route July 3, picking up debris.

“Ramses Raps in Lakewood” went off without a hitch.

Thanks to our parade founding fathers and mothers such as Barbara and Jim Young, Jim Watson and Mike Dunton, we are commemorating 25 years of successful Lakewood parades.

Any questions regarding the parade or anyone interested in being on the parade committee, please contact Jim Hicks at 827-8481. Donations are welcome for yearly expenses. Mail donations to Jim Hicks, 7224 Alexander, Dallas 75214.

The Lakewood Chamber of Commerce will recognize all past chairs of the 4th of July Parade at the June 14 luncheon meeting. All past chairmen and interested Lakewood residents should call Eloise Sherman at 827-8921 to attend.


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