Now that the deadline to enter the Jaycees Last Fling Labor Day Parade has past, Jaycees Rooster and volunteer Paul DeKruiff is spending his Sunday putting all the parade entries in order.
DeKruiff and his wife, Laurie, are serving again as co-chairmen of the popular end-of-summer parade that traditionally has attracted thousands of people to downtown Naperville at 10AM on Labor Day. The 90-minute parade also kicks off the final day of the four-day family-festival hosted by the Naperville Jaycees with assistance of the Jaycees Roosters, Aug. 31-Sept. 3.
“We’ve got news, too,” said Paul DeKruiff. “Steve Hyett is stepping out of retirement to emcee the parade again this year.”
According to the DeKruiffs, it’s a perfect fit because this year’s theme is “Our TV: Honoring and Recognizing Naperville Community Television Channel 17’s 25th Anniversary.” Local historian Hyett has had a long association of doing voice overs with NCTV17; plus, he reviewed the Labor Day Parade with his engaging commentary for 30 years. Hyett knows NCTV.
“We’re really excited to welcome Steve back,” added Laurie DeKruiff. “Plus, we’ve had an overwhelming response of entries that Paul is organizing.”
The DeKruiffs said that Ronald McDonald will appear live with the Edward Hospital entry. Some other surprises are expected, too.
“And I think we’ll have more marching bands than ever,” Paul DeKruiff said. “Every year the Labor Day Parade is a great outpouring of community spirit with local businesses, elected officials, politicians, Big Wheel riders, community groups, cheerleaders, scouts, Rooster bucket shakers and something for all ages.”
FYI: Individual Jaycees “age out” on their 41st birthday. Affectionately called “Exhausted Roosters” at the end of their over-active Jaycee careers, in Naperville many Roosters remain available to assist via advising upon request, training, being present at events and shaking red buckets to raise a little extra cash for charity during the Jaycees Labor Day Parade.
Click any photo to enlarge. Use the arrows to advance the photos for other views.
For more information about the Jaycees Last Fling, slated for Aug. 31-Sept. 3 along Jackson Ave. and Rotary Hill, visit www.lastfling.org.
Updated on Aug. 6, 2012, with a little history lesson from Steve Hyett’s e-mail: Thank you for the kind words. My daughter, Cindy, saw the story first, and alerted the family with “He’s like Brett Favre.” … The station (NCTV17) had some great people over the years at the microphone and in front of the camera in JoAnn Baumgartner and John Roscich. I had the distinct pleasure of working with JoAnn, a real professional and so knowledgeable about the community for at least 10 – 15 years after John retired from the parade. … Who counts when you’re having so much fun?
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