Looking for something to do July 4? If you’re in Brookfield, Riverside or North Riverside, you’re in luck, as all three villages will be putting the red, white and blue into Independence Day.
Anyone looking to get a head start on the holiday, should head to Riverside’s Guthrie Park (Bloomingbank and Riverside roads just south of the railroad tracks) on July 3 for the annual Concert in the Park sponsored by the Riverside Recreation Department and the Riverside Junior Woman’s Charity.
The event begins at 6 p.m. and lasts until 10:30 p.m., with two bands?”Azure Bloom (acoustic rock) at 6 p.m. and The Fossils (rock ‘n’ roll from the 1950s to the 1990s) at 7:30 p.m.
The Riverside Chamber of Commerce will operate a beer, wine, soda tent and Heavenly Hotdogs and Riverside Roasters will have food available for purchase. The concert is free.
On Tuesday, July 4, get a jump on the holiday by participating in or watching the 28th Annual Riverside Independence 5K Run, which starts promptly at 7:30 a.m. Raceday sign-up ($30 day of the event) will be from 6:30 to 7:15 a.m. at the downtown water tower (Longcommon Road and Pine Avenue).
At 9 a.m., find a spot along Longcommon Road to watch the Riverside Fourth of July parade, which begins at the Big Ball Park (Delaplaine Road) and winds its way down to Guthrie Park. From 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., parade goers can continue the celebration in the park.
Don’t want to start July 4 that early, then head to Brookfield for that village’s Independence Day Parade, which kicks off at 10 a.m. and heads down Grand Boulevard from Garfield Avenue to Brookfield Avenue and then east on Brookfield Avenue to Kiwanis Park at Arden Avenue.
Once the parade’s over be sure to find a spot for a post-parade picnic at Kiwanis Park, where there will be live musical entertainment from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. From 12:30 to 2 p.m. enjoy the island, reggae, steel drum, calypso sounds of Od Tapo Imi. Country and southern rock fans will enjoy Mason Rivers from 2:30 to 4 p.m., followed by Chicago classic rockers Jamestown Massacre from 4:30 to 6 p.m.
In addition to music, there will be plenty of games for kids as well as the annual fireman water fights. Food, pop and beer will be available from the Brookfield Jaycees. Operation Stars and Stripes will also be on hand, collecting items for servicemen and women serving overseas.
If it’s a spectacular fireworks display you’re looking for to put an exclamation point on the Fourth, there’s no better place to go than North Riverside’s Village Commons Park. Fireworks begin just after dusk (and most likely after Berwyn’s pyrotechnic display), but there’s plenty to do before the finale.
North Riverside will hold its own Fourth of July parade, beginning at 2 p.m. from 23rd Street and 14th Avenue. The parade will proceed down 23rd Street to 9th Avenue, south to 24th Street, then east to 2nd Avenue, south again to 26th Street and east on 26th Street to Veteran’s Park.
After a flag-raising ceremony at 3:15 p.m., participants can join in a family celebration featuring everything from train rides and a petting zoo to carnival games and lots of food. Special activities include a DJ from 3 to 6:30 p.m., adult bingo from 3:30 p.m. to dusk. fire department water fights from 4 to 5 p.m. and the Deja Vu Band from 7 to 9 p.m.