TAKOMA PARK — With temperatures approaching 90 degrees on a clear day, Takoma Park residents lined the city’s streets Wednesday to celebrate the nation’s independence.
“The July 4th Parade means a great deal to all of us in the city,” said Mayor Kate Stewart, who marched with her City Council colleagues near the front of the parade. “It’s a time when we all come together and celebrate what is really wonderful about our community.”
Organized by the resident-led Takoma Park Independence Day Committee, the parade, which began on Carroll and Ethan Allen Avenues before turning onto Maple Avenue and finishing in front of the Sam Abbot Citizens Center, included the City’s police honor guard, elected officials including Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-District 8), County Executive Ike Leggett, County Council member Tom Hucker (D-District 5), County Executive candidate and current Council member Marc Elrich (D-At Large), Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh (D), and the Takoma Park Mayor and City Council members, along with local organizations, nonprofits, and music bands.
“It was really neat to see people in the parade and to see people sitting on the sidelines waving and cheering,” said City Council member Kacy Kostiuk (Ward 3), who marched in the parade for the first time as an elected official after having won office in 2017. “It was a really neat experience to be a part of that in a different way this year.”
Political messages at the parade included calls to investigate the Trump administration for alleged corruption, examining the 9-11 attacks, and ending immigrant family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“I think [the parade] was a great opportunity to raise some of those issues and remind people that, though we hear these things every day, … and bring the community together against some of the things … at [at the national level],” Kostuik added.
After the city's founding by Benjamin Franklin Gilbert in 1883, Takoma Park first hosted a July 4th parade in 1889 prior to its incorporation as a municipality in 1890.