If you want to see some Fourth of July fireworks, you’ll have to head out of town — although not too far — but there will be plenty of things to do locally to celebrate the holiday, including parades, picnics, live entertainment and a 5K run.


The village of Riverside will hold events both July 3 and 4. The evening of July 3, Village President Ben Sells leads the opening ceremony in Guthrie Park, across from the train depot, with the official raising of the flag, the singing of the National Anthem, and a concert by The Brat Pack, featuring hits from the 1980s and more.

July 4 starts early in Riverside, with the 35th annual running of the Independence 5K, starting at the historic water tower. You can register the day of the race, which begins at 7:30 a.m.

The Riverside parade, featuring bands, fire trucks, clowns, local bigwigs and lots of candy tossing, steps off from Big Ball Park at Longcommon and Delaplaine at 8:45 a.m. and wends its way downtown to Guthrie Park, where booths for food and activities will be open until 1 p.m.

The all-ages event features pony rides, an 11 a.m. “Toddler Trot,” balloon-twisting and a classic car show.


You won’t find any fireworks here, either, but Brookfield has one of the best Fourth of July parades around and caps it off with what Brookfield Special Events Coordinator Jessica Rovner calls “a big village picnic” in Kiwanis Park immediately afterward.

The Brookfield parade steps off from the intersection of Grand Boulevard and Cleveland Avenue at 10 a.m., heads right down Grand Boulevard to Brookfield Avenue and heads east to the village hall. Next to the hall is Kiwanis Park, where parade judges will hand out awards to selected parade participants.

Rovner says awards include best entries by a business, a youth group, an adult organization, and also a special “judge’s choice” award, given to the parade entry they believe best exemplifies Brookfield.

The village picnic in Kiwanis Park features music all day, starting at 12:30 p.m. with the band the Neverly Brothers. Then between 2:45 and 4:30 p.m., Deja Vu performs.

At 5 p.m., Brookfield residents can hear the first and second place winners of the annual Battle of the Bands held in May, with performances by Farsighted and Something’s Not Right.

Food and drink will be available for purchase from La Cabanita Restaurant.

North Riverside

The evening of July 3 in Veterans Park, along 26th Street just south of North Riverside Park Mall, local sports fans are invited to attend a co-ed softball tournament.

On the Fourth of July, the North Riverside parade steps off at 10 a.m., starting at the intersection of 23rd Street and 14th Avenue. It winds through town, heading east on 23rd Street to 9th Avenue, then south on 9th Avenue to 24th Street, then east on 24th Street to 2nd Avenue, then south of 2nd Avenue to 26th Street and then east on 26th Street ending at Veterans Park, the site of all remaining patriotic activities for the day.

The flag-raising ceremony, led by Mayor Hubert Hermanek Jr. will be followed at 11:30 a.m. by both a men’s softball tournament and a Little League baseball tournament. There will also be a Home Run Derby.

Little League will prepare hot dogs, brats and burgers. Beer and soft drinks also will be available. Families can enjoy a picnic-style array of games, a dunk tank and a couple of inflatable moonwalks. The festivities end around 3 p.m.


Those looking to cap the Fourth of July with a fireworks display have a few different options, depending on how far you want to drive.

The closest fireworks display will be in neighboring Lyons. Spectators can find a spot to sit in either Smith or Veterans parks, located at Ogden and Lawndale avenues. Parking can be iffy — and don’t park in the forest preserve lot or you very well may be ticketed — so it’s best to walk over to
the site.

The evening gets started about 7 p.m. with a kids’ party in Veterans Park. Fireworks commence at dusk.

If you want to hit a fireworks show a day early, you can opt to head to Oak Brook on July 3, where that village hosts its annual Taste of Oak Brook from 4 to 9 p.m. The event is held at the Oak Brook Polo Grounds, on 31st Street just west of York Road.

Onsite parking is available for $10 per vehicle, with additional parking within walking distance of the field. Live entertainment, food, drink and kids’ activities will take place throughout the evening, which will be capped by a fireworks show at dusk.

Or, you can head north to Oak Park, which will host its annual fireworks show at the football stadium of Oak Park and River Forest High School, which is located at Lake Street and East Avenue.

Fireworks, which conclude with a finale sponsored by the Landmark’s sister paper, Wednesday Journal, begin at dusk.

An estimated 30,000 people watched the Oak Park fireworks last year. Fireworks can be observed from the stadium itself or from the nearby athletic fields where families can picnic together.

Bob Uphues contributed to this report.