Greater Grand Rapids Womens History Council
  P.O Box 68874, Grand Rapids, MI 49516-8874                     Phone: 616-574-7307



June 9, 2014

GGRWHC Board of Directors

Falinda Geerling,
Ruth VanStee,
Connie Ingham
Janet Brashler 
Jennifer Bryant 
Jo Ellyn Clarey
Susan Coombes 
Beverly Grant 
Sharon Hanks
Kyle Irwin
Mary Seeger
Ruth Stevens
Jill Straub
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Join us at the 80th Annual
July 4 Hollyhock Lane Parade
Once again the GGRWHC will honor our forebears by re-enacting suffragists parading on Grand Rapids streets a hundred years ago. Please march with us at the annual July 4th Hollyhock Lane Parade! This year marks the 80th year of continuous July 4th parades on Hollyhock Lane.

On Friday morning, July 4th, we will gather at 8 a.m. in Ottawa Hills. Look for "suffragists" or our bright yellow and purple GGRWHC banner. This parade has always mixed just plain fun with serious business. As we honor the political efforts of Grand Rapids women a century ago, we use their parade model to advertise the mission of the GGRWHC today. Visible ourselves, we make our forebears visible.

"Suffragists" march at the annual July 4 Hollyhock Lane Parade
You can use our "Votes for Women" signs, pennants, and sashes. If you can, dress in something that looks "vintage." "Looks" being the operative term:  For women, maybe a high-collar white blouse, a white or black skirt, and a hat (nice, but not necessary); for men, as much white as you have. You can borrow a "boater" from us. Ideally, marchers wear white to contrast with the purple sashes. But wear what you like and join the parade. You can even push a stroller or be pushed in a wheelchair.

The Hollyhock Lane neighborhood parade began in 1934 and has featured major politicians and National Guard trucks as well as neighborhood kids and the Hollymock Band. (See links at the bottom.) Marchers throw candy or hand out information for a festive time and then gather in Hollyhock Lane for a brief program, which is optional.

Parade information is also posted on the GGRWHC website (visit our website). If you have questions, please email us or call 616-574-7307.

8:00: Participants meet on the east side of Calvin on the parkway between Alexander and the alley, Hollyhock Lane, in Ottawa Hills. If you get lost that morning, call 616-443-4946.
8:30: Parade begins: north on Calvin to Franklin, to Pontiac, south on Iroquois to Alexander, north on Giddings to the alley behind 847 Giddings
9:00: Ceremonies follow immediately in "Hollyhock Lane," the alleyway between Giddings and Calvin.

Willie, the "Suffragist Dog," at the annual July 4 Hollyhock Lane Parade!
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Other related links:

Read about the 75th anniversary of the Hollyhock Lane July 4th Parade  in 2009.


Watch this clip from 2007 for the best overall look at the parade--politicians, firetrucks, kids on bikes and in wagons, candy, flags, and the Hollymock Band.

See photos of Uncle Sam & Miss Liberty from a previous year's parade.


Don't miss the Hollymock Band as it appears a minute-and-a-half into this You Tube video.  You can also see a couple of floats by watching another minute and a half of the clip. 


For past media information about the July 4 Hollyhock Parade, visit our homepage, click index Newsletters and then electronic 2010 - present.


Support GGRWHC!


We are largely dependent upon member dues and contributions to continue finding and distributing local women's history. If you haven't paid your dues this year, please visit our website to register or renew your membership.

Upcoming Events

July 23, 2014--Dedication of Helen J. Claytor's bronze statue, one of a series of influential figures immortalized at sites around the city. It is part of the Grand Rapids Community Legends Project. Ms Claytor (1907 - 2005) was an educator, civil rights activist, and the first African American president of the Grand Rapids YWCA and the national YWCA. Read more about her life by visiting our website.

August 26, 2014--Equality Day. 
Watch for more details on our web site or in future newsletters about the celebration of this date that marks the day on which in 1920 the Nineteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was certified and became law. Thus, universal franchise to vote was guaranteed in America. This year the Council welcomes you to share your stories about politics and women's rights or about other landmark legislation such as the 1972 passage of the educational amendments to Title IX or the 1972 "displaced homemakers" legislation.    
 Mark your calendars! 
 And be thinking about how your life was impacted by 20th Century groundbreaking laws--the legacy of countless women who struggled for decades to secure the rights that women have today.
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Join us or Update your Membership!  

Not a current member of GGRWHC?  Register or renew your membership and help offset the expenses associated with annual research and programs. Your membership helps to set the record straight on the women who've made history here in our community.

GGRWHC Board Meetings

Board meetings are held on the first Tuesday of the month at 5:30 p.m. at the Vanderveen Center for the Book at the Grand Rapids Public Library. If you have suggestions for programs, oral histories, or other items, please email us or plan to attend a meeting.



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Please take a moment to forward this message to others you know who may be interested in Women's History.  If you've received this message as a forward, consider joining our mailing list (click on the button in the left column above!) in order to receive future updates about programming.

Thank you for your interest in preserving and celebrating the history of the many phenomonal women who've helped to shape West Michigan!  If you aren't already a member of the Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council, consider showing your support through annual membership.  Visit our web site for more information and the ability to register using Pay Pal online!

Hats off to the historical women who've shaped West Michigan!