Parade marcher, 89, thrilled with Lake Forest Day experience

Marching in the Lake Forest Day parade with the Wells Fargo Advisors stagecoach was a dream come true for Dorothy Keating of Lake Forest.

At 89, the longtime resident may have been the oldest person in the annual parade downtown on Wednesday, Aug. 6.

“I felt blessed, popular and important,” Keating said, still beaming about the experience just before sharing a hot dog lunch with the Wells Fargo Advisors team back in their office on Western Avenue.

“I saw a lot of my neighbors. I hope they recognize me because I never wear a hat,” the 46-year Lake Forest resident said.

Keating walked for part of the way and rode in the stagecoach the rest, waving and smiling.

“The best part was seeing all the people” who line the parade route, Keating said. “Waving to them and seeing the response you get back.”

Some wave back, others don’t, she quickly learned. But either response was fine with Keating.

“It was so much fun,” she said.

Keating started her day with hundreds of others, lining up at 9 a.m. on Western Avenue for the 10 a.m. start of the parade.

“We were a little late. We had to wait for the horses,” she said of the Wells Fargo Advisors stagecoach. “It takes a while for them to get situated.”

But Keating didn’t mind the wait. She was honored and delighted to walk with the Wells Fargo Advisors team, where her niece Susan Orr is a financial advisor, and where she has been a customer for years.

“It’s important to be a part of the community,” Orr said, explaining why the company participates in the annual Lake Forest summertime ritual.

Inviting her aunt along for the ride was a natural fit.

“Everybody in the office knows her as Aunt Dorothy,” Orr said.

The stagecoach and horses, one of 16 the company has across the country, came from Minnesota specifically for Lake Forest Day.

Keating is pleased they did.

“This definitely was the highlight of my summer,” Keating said. “Absolutely.”

If there’s room on the stagecoach next year, Keating said she would like to tag along again.

“I’d love to do it every week,” she said.

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