IDLEWILD — Despite the hot weather, area residents came out to enjoy a lively parade in Idlewild on Saturday afternoon.

This year’s theme was All Sports Day, and youth dressed in their favorite sports team gear. Included in the lineup were different organizations, agencies, public officials and those running for public office in Lake County. Many Idlewild groups and organizations participated in the parade, and the Baldwin High School Band performed on a float.

“I want to thank all of the community for coming out to support us in this heat,” said Florence Harris, chair of the parade committee. “The parade gets bigger and bigger each year, and with the people’s help, will continue to thrive and survive.”

This year’s grand marshal was a community group, the Men of Purpose. Among their many services to Lake County, each year the Men of Purpose serve hot dogs after the parade in Idlewild and at the Christmas parade in Baldwin. They also provide a Christmas and Thanksgiving meal for Lake County residents each year.

“We are honored the Men of Purpose was chosen as grand marshal,” said Pastor Everett Bowen, who leads Men of Purpose. “There are seven different area churches represented in our group, and we all work together to reach out to the community.”

Shawn Coffey, trustee for Yates Township, was named Citizen of the Year. Coffey reaches out to the youth in Lake County and hosts a huge Halloween party and haunted trail each October.

“I am humbled to be Citizen of the Year,” he said.

After the parade, youth enjoyed sports games and families relaxed and cooled off on the beach. Doug the DJ, from Chicago, provided music for the event.

The annual Idlewild Independence Day Parade is hosted by Mid-Michigan Idlewilders in conjunction with Yates Township and Idlewild African-American Chamber of Commerce.