March as a Suffragist in the annual Hollyhock Lane Parade

March as a suffragist in the annual Hollyhock Lane Parade in Ottawa Hills on Saturday, July 3.

The Hollyhock Lane neighborhood parade began in 1934 and has featured major politicians and National Guard trucks as well as neighborhood kids and the Hollyhock Band. Paraders throw candy and hand out brochures for a festive time–even though it occurs early in the morning and this year on July 3rd since the 4th is a Sunday. The Grand Rapids Public Library and the Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council had planned to enter the Founding Day parade on May 1, but that parade was canceled.  To make use of  our  Votes for Women signs, pennants, and sashes, we will be joining the Ottawa Hills Hollyhock Lane Parade to honor the 90th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment granting full suffrage to women on August 26th, 1920.

Grand Rapids Homecoming Parade, 1910

Today’s parading suffragists will re-enact marchers who paraded on early twentieth-century Grand Rapids streets. In the picture shown here of a local 1910 Home Coming Parade, 70 members of the local Equal Franchise Club joined in behind this float.

Grand Rapids was the home to many suffragists in the late 1800s and early 1900 who worked locally and influenced the national movement, sending women to the state and national suffrage conventions and to the marches in Chicago and Washington DC.

All you need to do is attempt to dress in an old style, black skirt, white blouse, with a hat and white gloves, if you have them. Suffragists often marched in all white, if you have a white skirt. We will have signs for you to carry and purple sashes and we’ll sing some of the old suffrage songs.

Hollyhock Lane Parade: Saturday, July 3, 2010

8:00: Participants meet at the corner of Calvin and Alexander in Ottawa Hills

8:30: Parade begins (north on Giddings)

Email Ruth, with your questions.

Sponsored by the Grand Rapids Public Library and the Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council

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