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WHEATON, Ill. — Governor Bruce Rauner and Senator Mark Kirk were among those taking part in today’s Fourth of July parade in west suburban Wheaton.

Thousands of spectators dressed in red, white and blue lined Main Street to the see the parade.

The Governor kicked off the festivities, leading the parade and wishing the state a happy Independence Day.

“This is a day to celebrate America’s freedom, our democracy, our foundation born 200 years ago,” Rauner told the crowd. “We’re the greatest nation on earth. We’re the beacon of hope and justice for the entire world because of our focus on individual liberty.”

Despite the contentious political atmosphere in Illinois and in the Presidential campaign, most people in Wheaton seemed to leave politics behind for the day to celebrate what brings us all together.

They watched as bands, floats and politicians marched along the parade route in a traditional celebration of America’s independence.

The Wheaton parade has more than 50 entries and hundreds of participants. It’s one of the largest Fourth of July parades in the Chicago area.