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Lakewood Parade Especially Important This Independence Day

Lakewood’s Fourth of July parade is a tradition that’s nearly 50 years old. While the East Dallas neighborhood is still working to repair major hail damage from the June 13th storms, residents took Independence Day off.

When a parade includes teenage rock bands, a Ghostbusters themed float and a man throwing ice pops into the crowd, it’s no surprise that even Lakewood’s youngest residents appreciate the unique vibe of their community.

Catherine Wilson: “We always kind of work together, it’s kind of like a Lakewood family so we always do everything together.”

Thirteen year old Catherine Wilson rode on the Lakewood Neighborhood Association float in the July 4th parade.

The event is 49 years old, and not much has changed over the decades. Anyone can participate, there is no entry fee, and because this parade is dedicated to the kids, no commercial floats are included. Catherine’s mother Nancy says that’s just something Lakewood believes in.

Nancy Wilson: “It is a true community where you can have barbecues with your next door neighbor. Where everybody knows each other, neighbors help out each other when they need it. It is truly a unique place in the city of Dallas.”

Which explains the uniquely positive attitude this community has embraced in the weeks since a major hail storm damaged homes and businesses all across Lakewood.

Parade Judge’s Coordinator Betsy See is among those who sustained roof damage. She says people in Lakewood are especially grateful for the parade this year.

Betsy See: “We’re in line like most everybody for a new roof, and you hear a lot of nails going off now as roofs are going back up, but you know, it’s not going to stop anybody from enjoying the Fourth of July.”

And while there were signs of damage along the parade route, and a lot of roofing company ads staked in front yards, hail dents and broken windows took a back seat to celebration in Lakewood this Independence Day.

Courtney Collins has been working as a broadcast journalist since graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 2004. Before coming to KERA in 2011, Courtney worked as a reporter for NPR member station WAMU in Washington D.C. While there she covered daily news and reported for the station’s weekly news magazine, Metro Connection.