Parading Rotary Pride


The Racine Founder's Rotary Club celebrated Independence Day this year by having a float in Racine's 4th Fest Parade for the first time ever! The 4th Fest Parade of Greater Racine, Inc. has nearly 100,000 spectators along the 2.4 mile parade route, that come to see the colorful floats.  This parade has been recognized as one of the Mid-west's largest Independence Day parades. It was cited by USA Today in 2008 as one of the top 10 places to be in the country for Independence Day (just behind Washington D.C.) "For this reason, we decided that Racine Rotary, which has over 100 years of history in Racine, needed to have a presence in this parade, to provide visibility and spread community awareness about our club and about Rotary International," said Claire Weslaski, the club's president.

High School students from the Interact club of St. Catherine's High School also helped with the project.  "We had about 30 people involved, including the Interact Club, the Rotary Club, and community members, helping with things such as providing the 55 foot semi-trailer (thanks American Erecting!), decorating the float, driving the truck, a DJ, providing coolers of water, and riding in the float," said Weslaski.  Ed Werner, a new Founder's Rotary member, and his family constructed a 14-foot Rotary Wheel for the float. 


The Interact Club students that participated in the parade dressed in Prom attire. This was to highlight Racine's Post-Prom which is an event that has been sponsored by Racine Rotary since 1953, in which nine area high schools all come together for a "Post-Prom" party after the individual proms are held at their high schools. This year the club also hosted the Special Needs prom for students with disabilities. Two students from the Special Needs prom also joined in riding the parade float.


The Racine Founder's Rotary Club 4th of July parade float was a huge success in many ways. The volunteers had a great time and great fellowship working together for a common cause.  The Rotary and Interact Clubs got the chance to work together on a fun project.  We spread awareness in the community about Rotary.  Rotarians that were there as parade spectators felt pride, and waved and shouted as our float went by.  And the weather on the 4th of July was perfect!