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Sheridan celebrates school year with traditional parade

Who doesn't love a parade to kick off a long weekend? It's been a Labor Day tradition at Sheridan Elementary for 21 years.
Who doesn't love a parade to kick off a long weekend? It's been a Labor Day tradition at Sheridan Elementary for 21 years.

"It's a real sense of community and strengthening relationships and involving our parents. It's a great time," said Jennifer McGowan, principal at Sheridan Elementary School.

"Just to be able to do this and come back and give back to a community that supports us so much, it's fun. And the kids love it. So, why wouldn't you do it?" said Jordyn Wyzgowski, a golfer at Illinois State University.

It's not just a parade for the pleasure of the students. They go from spectators to participants, joining the parade that goes right by their school.

"A lot of people are here to see us march and there are so many people that are here, like the police officers, Smokey (the Bear) and a lot of people," said Laylani Hernandez, a fifth grader at Sheridan.

The students are decked out in matching outfits to represent each grade. Even the teachers get dressed up for the occasion, which has continued to grow in size for years.

"Once we saw the streets lined with people, it was pretty insane. It's awesome to know that we can be part of such a big thing," said Wyzgowski.

And when they finish their journey through the neighborhood and resume classes, they say they can feel the love from the community. For some students, the moment is bittersweet though.

"This is our last time walking around the school that we get to do, because next year we're not going to be here," said Teah Hernandez, a fifth grader.

But after the excitement of this parade, they're ready to roll again.

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