Parades & the President: Crystal Lake celebrates Fourth of July, upcoming visit from Biden

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CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. – Residents in Crystal Lake who lined the streets for their annual Fourth of July parade could do the same in the coming days to see the president’s motorcade stroll through town.

President Joe Biden is set to visit Illinois for the first time since he took office. Paul Merlak doesn’t mind. He says he’s overjoyed by the growing sight of locals.

“It’s wonderful, all these happy people,” he said.

It’s a big week for the northwestern suburb and its estimated 40,000 residents.

“It’s a freedom we have not felt in a year, and it is needed and it’s definitely a lift of spirits,” said Katie Kazlauskas, a Crystal Lake resident.

Rep. Lauren Underwood of the 14th District agrees.

“We have a lot to celebrate: our freedom, our liberty, becoming a perfect union, and in Crystal Lake, we’re going to be welcoming the president,” she said.   

President Joe Biden will visit Crystal lake on Wednesday, though the White House has not announced his location and topic.   

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“Stay tuned. It’s going to be special,” Rep. Underwood said.

The president is currently touring the midwest, touting his $973 billion infrastructure plan. Just yesterday, Biden visited Traverse City, Michigan. Last Monday, the president spoke in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

“It was a surprise – we just heard about last night,” said McHenry County Board Chairman Mike Buehler.

McHenry County is the only collar county that didn’t vote for Biden, but the Republic Party chairman says he welcomes the president.   

“We’ll welcome the president’s arrival and give him a good warm welcome,” Buehler said. “Not sure what he’s going to be talking about. We haven’t heard too many details.” 

Some parade-goers offered ideas of what they’d like to hear from the president, however.   

“What he chooses to do with the future of our country,” Kazlauskas said. 

“Unprepared remarks would be better to just know what’s really in his heart,” Merlak added.   

But at least for July 4, residents say the president nicknamed ‘Uncle Joe,’ will take a back seat to ‘Uncle Sam.’  

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