Where to watch fireworks in Chicago and celebrate Fourth of July 2016 | Bleader

Friday, July 1, 2016

Where to watch fireworks in Chicago and celebrate Fourth of July 2016

Posted By on 07.01.16 at 10:00 AM

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click to enlarge Celebrate America's independence with a bang at Navy Pier on July 2 and 4. - SUN-TIMES MEDIA
  • sun-times media
  • Celebrate America's independence with a bang at Navy Pier on July 2 and 4.


Celebrate America's Brexit, the Fourth of July, at these festivals, carnivals, parties, cruises, and fireworks displays.

Fireworks and Freedom Fest at Navy Pier You'll have two chances to see the rockets' red glare and the bombs burst in air at the Pier: on Saturday at 10:15 PM and Monday at 9:30 PM. For the display happening on the Fourth, you can watch from the top of Navy Pier's Rooftop during the third annual Freedom Fest, which includes a barbecue, cash bar, and a DJ. Mon 7/4, 6:30-11 PM, 600-840 E Grand, navypier.com/events, $45 general admission for Freedom Fest, free to watch fireworks.

Festival of Life
Union Park's annual festival celebrates the lifestyle, heritage, and cultures of the Caribbean, Africa, Latin America, and the U.S. The four-day festival also includes music, arts and crafts, food and drinks, three-on-three soccer tournaments, and more. Fri 7/1-Mon 7/4: noon-10 PM, Lake and Ashland, festivaloflife.biz, $15-$25 single day pass, $45-$100 four-day pass. 

Frontier Days Festival The Wallflowers, Plain White T’s, and American English take the stage at Recreation Park. A Fourth of July parade, carnival, and "stampede" run will also take place. Fri 7/1-Mon 7/4: 8 PM, 500 E. Miner, Arlington Heights, frontierdays.org, free.

Mount Prospect Lions Club Festival School of Rock, Serendipity, and Brace for Impact are just a few of the bands making an appearance at Melas Park’s 78th annual carnival this year. The fest features food vendors, a beer and wine tent, and fireworks. Fri 7/1-Mon 7/4: Fri 6-11 PM, Sat-Mon 1-11 PM, Central near Busse, Mount Prospect, mplions.org, $18 single-day wristband.

Naperville Ribfest Sheryl Crow, 3 Doors Down, and Gin Blossoms headline this celebration at Knoch Park, featuring food vendors such as Armadillo's BBQ & Rib Company and Porky 'N' Beans. In addition to food and music, the festival will include carnival rides, magic shows, and fireworks at 9:30 PM on the Fourth of July. Fri 7/1-Mon 7/4: noon, 724 S. West, Naperville, ribfest.net, $12 general admission.

Northwest Fourthfest The "Burbs' Biggest Fourth of July Celebration" features performances by local bands, animal exhibits, pie-eating contests, food vendors, a craft fair, and a carnival packed with more than 40 rides. There's also a fireworks show on July 3 at 9:30 PM and a parade that kicks off on July 4 at 9 AM. Fri 7/1-Mon 7/4: times vary, see website, 5333 Prairie Stone, Hoffman Estates, northwestfourthfest.com, free.

Oak Fest The "Best Fest on the Southside" returns for its 29th annual event in Oak Forest, featuring live performances, including Covergurl and Ratboys, as well as activities such as a bean bag tournament, bingo, and a watermelon-eating contest. Fireworks go off at dusk on July 4. Fri 7/1-Mon 7/4: times vary, see website, 159th and Central, Oak Forest, oakfest.com, free.

The Taste of Oak Brook The festival serves up food from local restaurants, plenty of children's activities, and live music. The night wraps up with a fireworks display at the Oak Brook Bath and Tennis Club. Sun 7/3, 9 PM, 800 Oak Brook, Oak Brook, oak-brook.org, free, $10 parking.

Naval Station Great Lakes July 4 Celebration The two-day event features the Twilight Firecracker Rock and Run 5K; live music performances from Night Ranger, Infinity, Madison Rising, and Royal Bliss; and a carnival that includes a motorcycle performance, puppet show, food and drinks, and, of course, fireworks. Sun 7/3-Mon 7/4: 3-10 PM, 530 Farragut,Great Lakes, facebook.com/GreatLakes4thofJuly, free.


Booze Cruise Chicago Party Boat hosts several two-and-a-half hour boat tours on Lake Michigan throughout Independence Day, including three separate booze cruises depending on when you like to drink: day, afternoon, or night. Each cruise features a live DJ, dancing, food and drinks, and a post-cruise afterparty. Mon 7/4, times vary, see website, Lake Michigan, chicagopartyboat.com, $20-$60.

Evanston Fourth of July Twilight Concert and Fireworks The Palatine Concert Band plays patriotic music from 7:30-9 PM followed by a fireworks display launched from Clark Street Beach. Mon 7/4, 9:15 PM, Sheridan and Church, Evanston, evanston4th.org, free.

Fourth of July in Glen Ellyn A parade filled with music and floats starts on Ellyn Avenue and heads west on Crescent Boulevard. Following the parade, activities include an obstacle course, music, dancing, and carnival games. Fireworks kick off at dusk. Mon 7/4, noon, Lake Ellyn, Glen Ellyn, glenellyn4thofjuly.org, free.

Glenview Fourth of July The 100-piece Northshore Concert Band performs patriotic tunes at Gallery Park, followed by fireworks set off from the middle of Lake Glenview. Public areas to view are located to the west, south, and north of the lake. Mon 7/4, 7 PM, Patriot and Chestnut, Glenview, glenview.il.us, free.


Itasca Fourth of July Celebration Pat McKillen and Maggie Speaks kick off the festivities at 7 PM with live music at Hamilton Lakes, followed by a 25-minute fireworks show. Mon 7/4, 9:45 PM, 500 Park, Itasca, itasca.com, free, $25 on-site parking.


July 4 Parade and 3-D Fireworks in Skokie The parade runs east along Oakton Street from downtown Skokie to Oakton Park, featuring marching bands, tumblers, drill teams, clowns, vintage automobiles, and more. At 5 PM, the 3-D fireworks (apparently that's a thing) begins at Niles West High School; the first 10,000 patrons to arrive receive a free pair of 3-D glasses. Live music from Empty Pockets and Semple, children's games, and face painting starts at 6:30 PM. Mon 7/4, noon, 9300 Weber Park, Skokie, skokieparks.org, free.

July 4 Celebration and Fireworks in Westmont Ty Warner Park hosts an afternoon of Independence Day festivities, including a petting zoo, face painting, balloon sculptors, a watermelon-eating contest, and more. The Grand Avenue Big Band performs live music prior to the fireworks display at 9:30 PM. Mon 7/4, 4 PM, 700 Blackhawk, Wesmont, westmontparks.org, free.


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