Communities throughout the area will be celebrating Independence Day on July 4with their traditional array of parades, picnics and fireworks. Here’s what to expect in Brookfield, Riverside and North Riverside next week:
Brookfield’s parade steps off at Garfield Avenue and Grand Boulevard on July 4 at 10 a.m. Marchers will travel southeast down Grand until Brookfield Avenue, where they will turn east to Kiwanis Park.
According to Recreation Department representative Arlene Rovner, the village’s reviewing stand will be located in front of the historic Grossdale Station at Forest and Brookfield avenues. Rovner estimated the parade would end between 11:30 a.m. and noon.
The parade will be followed by a picnic in Kiwanis Park, with live entertainment set to begin at 12:30 p.m. The first band to perform will be the Blues Brothers, followed by Mason Rivers. The first- and second-place winners of the village’s Battle of the Bands-One Chord Short and Phoenix Down, respectively-will also perform between 5 and 6 p.m.
The picnic, which Rovner said ends around 6 p.m., also features special activities for children. Food and beverages will be available for purchase as well, although Rovner said people can also bring their own coolers from home.
The one main difference in this year’s celebration, Rovner said, will be the lack of the traditional fireman water fight, in which teams of firemen compete to push a barrel across a wire with fire hoses. The wire holding the barrel snapped during last year’s competition, and Rovner said the tools needed to fix it are no longer available.
“It has been a tradition, but unfortunately for safety reasons we can’t do it this year,” Rovner said.
Riverside’s Independence Day celebration begins on July 3 at Guthrie Park, just south of the downtown train station. Opening ceremonies start off the village’s two days of festivities at 6 p.m., immediately followed by live entertainment by bands The Acoustic Sideshow and Out of Control.
Recreation Department Program Coordinator Ron Malchiodi, who described the event as a “small, Ravinia-type concert,” said people are welcome to bring food and beverages to the park. He estimated the concert should run until 10:30 p.m.
Celebrations will continue the next day, beginning with a 5K run at 7:30 a.m. Runners start off downtown and follow a circular route through the village, finally ending up back at the water tower in Centennial Park. Malchiodi said the village expected 500 to 600 runners to participate in the event.
The run will be immediately followed by Riverside’s parade at around 9 a.m. The parade route begins at the Big Ball Park, at Longcommon and Delaplaine roads, and travels south down Longcommon and across the railroad track to Riverside Road.
A picnic at Guthrie Park between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. will cap off the village’s festivities. Malchiodi said the picnic would include booths selling food and beverages, a car show, a toddler trot and other various games and activities.
The Independence Day parade in North Riverside begins at 2 p.m. on July 4. The route begins at 13th Avenue and 23rd Street and zigzags eastward, following 23rd Street until 9th Avenue, where marchers turn south to 24th Street, taking that east to 2nd Avenue. From there marchers travel south again to 26th Avenue, which they then take east to Veteran’s Park at 26th Street and Veteran’s Drive. Recreation Director Sue Frampton estimated the parade should last until about 3 p.m.
A festival at Veteran’s Park will immediately follow the parade, featuring carnival games, bingo, a petting zoo, clown performances, live entertainment, and other activities. DJ Spinning Disc will perform between 3 and 6 p.m., followed by the band Déjà Vu.
The festival culminates in the village’s annual fireworks display, set to begin around dusk.
Admission to the festival is free, and parking will be available on streets around the park and in the North Riverside Park Mall. Frampton said the village prefers that guests do not bring their own food and beverages, hoping instead that they visit the vendors at the park. Sparklers and other fireworks are also prohibited, she said.