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Artists decorate park for Fourth of July

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    Desiree (back) and Asia (front) work hard on their chalk drawings. Photos by Julianne Hodges
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    Janelle shows off her drawing for the Chalk It Up! art contest depicting Snoopy celebrating the Fourth of July.
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    Kyle Smith and Iris work together on a drawing.
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    “Smiley the Clown” paints children’s faces and hands out free balloon animals.
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    The Elgin Community Choir sings the National Anthem after the flag-raising.
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    Christine Prieto works on drawing a tree full of fruit.
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    Prieto's finished work reflects the meaning of Luke 6:43-45.
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    Maya King works on her drawing.
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    A group of lifeguards and Girl Scout leaders dance.
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    Mitchell and Blakeleigh Swonke play with chalk.
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    Parade participants push, pedal and pull their vehicles down Avenue C around Veteran's Park.
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    From left to right: Addie, Asher and Ava work on their chalk drawings.
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    The American Legion performs a flag-raising ceremony.
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    Ashley blows bubbles for Asher to play with.
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    On behalf of the VFW, Robin Swain (right) hands out yellow ribbons to attendees.
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    The yellow ribbons were then tied to trees in the park to honor veterans.
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    Gabriel shows off his chalk drawing.
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    Iris (left) works on a drawing while Orchid (right) plays with a Hula Hoop.
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    Ashley Smith (right) works on a drawing promoting her art studio, The Clever Tiger, as Iris and Orchid help.
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    "Smiley the Clown" paints whiskers on Trinity.
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    The sidewalks of Veteran's Memorial Park are filled with drawings after the Chalk It Up! contest is over.
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Elgin celebrated Independence Day last Wednesday with a sidewalk chalk art event and a parade around Veteran’s Memorial Park.

The evening started with the Chalk It Up! art contest, in which children and adults alike turned the sidewalks of Veteran’s Memorial Park into a canvas full of drawings about summer, Independence Day and more. Later, people lined up to walk down the street around the park in the Push, Pedal, Pull Patriotic People’s Parade, where participants were encouraged to bring anything powered by pushing, pulling or pedaling.

The celebration also included a flag-raising ceremony by the American Legion, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars brought yellow ribbons for attendees to tie to the park’s trees in honor of loved ones who are veterans.