What’s there to do on the Fourth of July in Brookfield and Riverside? Plenty, it turns out.
The Independence Day festivities in Riverside kick off on Friday, July 3 with the Picnic in the Park at Guthrie Park, which is located just across Bloomingbank Road from the downtown train station.
The event will run from 6 to 10 p.m. and will feature musical entertainment by the band Butter Side Down. While you can bring your own food to the event, there will be food, beer and wine vendors with items for purchase.
Both the July 3 event and the July 4 parade, which kicks off at 8:45 a.m. from the corner of Delaplaine and Longcommon Roads, come courtesy of a joint effort between a volunteer organization called Friends of the Fourth and the village’s Department of Parks and Recreation. As of last week, Friends of the Fourth had collected over $22,000 to fund the events.
The parade route will wind down Longcommon Road to Guthrie Park, where there will be an after-parade party featuring music, food and fun until 1 p.m.
Prior to the parade in Riverside, runners of all ages will be taking to the streets for the annual Independence Day 5K, sponsored by the Department of Parks and Recreation. The race begins at 7:30 a.m. For information call 442-7025.
If one parade isn’t enough, you’ll have time to head over to Brookfield, whose parade will step off at 10 a.m. from the corner of Grand Boulevard and Garfield Avenue. The parade will head south on Grand Boulevard to the Veterans Circle before heading east on Washington Avenue and then south on Prairie Avenue to Brookfield Avenue, where it will head east toward the village hall.
Following the parade, residents are invited to join in a village picnic at Kiwanis Park (Brookfield and Arden avenues). The party, featuring food, drinks, live music and more will begin at noon.
Where to see fireworks
Fireworks are always the frosting on the Fourth of July cake. But if you want to see any of the rockets’ red glare, you’ll have to head out of town on Saturday.
North Riverside canceled its fireworks and other July 4 festivities back in May. With that in mind, many in both North Riverside and Riverside figured they could at least enjoy the fireworks from the city of Berwyn just a few blocks east.
But last week, the Berwyn city council voted to slash funding for its July 4 fireworks show. That either leaves locals to host their own personal -and, of course, illegal – fireworks displays or seek a show in a nearby community.
The closest town hosting July 4 fireworks is the village of Lyons. While that village cut back this year by canceling its Fourth of July parade, the fireworks will launch at 9 p.m. from the old quarry area near the new Lyons municipal building on Lawndale Avenue.
Spectators can head to Smith Park at Lawndale and 42nd Street (just south of Ogden Avenue) and spread out a blanket on the baseball fields there.
Looking for more of a festival atmosphere? Then you’ll have to head bit further southwest to the Pleasant Dale Park District. The park district hosts a full-blown festival starting at 4 p.m. at Walker Park, 7425 S. Wolf Road in Burr Ridge, with food vendors, a beer garden and live music. The fireworks commence at 9:30 p.m., weather permitting.
Heading north, you can catch fireworks in Forest Park at the village’s park district complex at 7501 Harrison St. You can cool off at the pool beginning at 10 a.m., and the festivities start at 1 p.m. with bingo. A food court will begin serving at 3 p.m. Other family-oriented activities will start at 5 p.m., with live music at 6 p.m. Fireworks cap off the evening just after dark, around 9:15 p.m.
In Oak Park, fireworks aficionados can head to the Oak Park and River Forest High School football stadium (Lake Street and East Avenue). The fireworks program begins at dusk and the grand finale comes to you courtesy of the Landmark’s sister newspaper, Wednesday Journal.