Fourth Of July Vehicle Parade Again Planned For Lakewood

Pictured are trucks from the Lakewood Fire Department that were part of last year’s Fourth of July vehicle parade. The event was put on by the efforts of John Streed to bring some semblance of normalcy to the village during the pandemic. Submitted photo

LAKEWOOD — John Streed, with the blessing of the Lakewood Village Board, will be organizing a vehicle parade for the Fourth of July.

Streed has been a village resident for 38 years. He hosted the parade last year as a result of his niece being unable to attend a Fourth of July event because of cancellations due to the pandemic.

“It was her first first Fourth of July and we weren’t able to do any festivities,” Streed said. “It would’ve been a crucial missing point for children like her. I wanted to do something.”

That’s when he came up with the idea of a vehicle parade — an event that still allowed village residents to take part while staying home.

Streed said onlookers congregate and have breakfast in their driveways or in front of their houses while they wait for the parade to pass.

“It was pretty much a huge success,” Streed said. “We had the police department … the fire department, the Lakewood American Legion, the sailing association and miscellaneous other organizations and people.”

In last year’s event, County Executive PJ Wendel drove one of the firetrucks in the parade, and Lakewood Village Board member Ellen Barnes and Busti Town Supervisor Jesse Robbins rode in a vehicle together in the parade. Participants also threw candy and squirted kids with water guns.

“(That shows) total community support,” Streed said. “It’s a great American village, (and I’m) just trying to keep the people of the village happy and feeling that there was some resemblance of normalcy.”

Due to the cancellation of the Lakewood fireworks, Streed is looking to have a similar outcome with this year’s vehicle parade.

“There’s been no guidance from the state of New York in what (the village) could do at Hartley Park,” Streed said. “Of course, (village officials) had to err on the side of caution and not do anything.”

Streed said it’s kids who suffer the most when they miss out on traditional events during their formative years.

This year’s parade will feature the Lakewood-Busti Police Department, the Lakewood Village Fire Department, the Lakewood American Legion and other organizations that request to be a part of it.

“It’s all about (showcasing) the village of Lakewood, just really honoring the village of Lakewood and its residents,” Streed said. “There’s so many problems in the world, but right here … there’s so many great things that are a model for America.”

Line up for the parade begins at 10 a.m. on July 4 at the Lakewood American Legion. The parade begins at 10:30 a.m., and after proceeding throughout the village, the parade will end back at the Legion. At 1 p.m. the Legion will host a take-out chicken barbecue until the food is sold out.


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