What’s the Fourth of July without a parade? Well, that’s something residents of Brookfield, North Riverside and Riverside won’t have to find out, because each village is hosting an Independence Day Parade and a party in the park on July 4.

Of course, each celebration is a bit different, so here’s what you can expect to happen to make the upcoming long weekend a memorable one.

Brookfield

The village of Brookfield’s parade will kick off on Monday, July 4 at 10 a.m. from its traditional starting point at Garfield Avenue and Grand Boulevard. The parade will head southeast on Grand Boulevard to Brookfield Avenue, where it will head east to the finish at the Brookfield Village Hall, 8820 Brookfield Ave.

At about noon, the village’s Recreation Department will host a party in Kiwanis Park (Arden and Brookfield avenues), which is open to all residents, who are invited to bring coolers, food and drinks.

If you want to travel light, you can buy food from Barone’s Pizza, which is handling concessions this year. Selling beer and hard cider (16-ounce pours for $3 and $4) at the fest will be Leo’s Liquors.  

Live entertainment at the Kiwanis Park band shell begins at 12:30 p.m. with Lori Shane and the Mix, followed at 2:45 p.m. by The Neverly Brothers. At 5 p.m., catch the sounds of this year’s top acts at the Brookfield Battle of the Bands, Double Identity and The Millennium.

The party ends around 6 p.m.

North Riverside

In North Riverside, village officials and the Little League will kick off their All-American parade on July 4 at 10 a.m. at 14th Avenue and 23rd Street. The parade heads east to 9th Avenue and then south to 24th Street before heading east again to 2nd Avenue.

At 2nd Avenue, the parade turns south to 26th Street, where it will head east all the way to Veterans Park, where a flag-raising ceremony will begin the celebration at 11 a.m. Afterwards, everyone is invited to enjoy the July Fourth Park Fest in Veterans Park from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Little League will host a home run derby and T-Ball Classic, while vendors will sell soda, beer and food. There will be inflatables, face painting, Cubs and Sox pinatas for kids. In addition, there will be a softball tournament for the 18-and-older set, organized by the village’s recreation department. Registration is required to take part in that tournament.

Other activities include a kickball game, a Big Splash, live music from the band Cadillac Groove and a photo booth. 

The July 4 celebration closes in North Riverside with a fireworks display courtesy of the Riverside Golf Club, 2520 Desplaines Ave. North Riverside residents (with valid ID) and their guests are invited onto the grounds of the golf club for the fireworks. The gates open at 7 p.m., with the fireworks starting at 9 p.m. 

Those entering the club grounds are invited to bring blankets and chairs but no food or drinks, which will be available for purchase inside.

Otherwise, people can find a spot to watch the fireworks outside the club along Desplaines Avenue, which will be closed to traffic during the event. Residents are encouraged to walk or ride a bike, since no vehicles will be able to enter parking lots after the street is closed.

Riverside

As always, the Independence Day celebration starts early in Riverside with a concert in Guthrie Park, Riverside and Bloomingbank roads, on Sunday, July 3.

Opening ceremonies begin at 6 p.m. with the National Anthem followed by dance party music courtesy of the band Libido Funk Circus from 6:15 to 10:30 p.m.

Attendees can bring their own food and beverages, although there will be food and drinks for purchase from Mollie’s Public House and The Chew Chew. Other vendors participating include Aunt Diana’s, Hawaiian Ice and Twilight Party Rentals.

Activities in Riverside also begin early on Monday, July 4. The 38th Annual Independence Day 5K Run starts at 7:30 a.m. and winds through the streets of the village. The last day for online registration (visit the village’s website at www.riverside.il.us) is June 30. Race day registration is from 6:30 to 7:15 a.m. Cash or check only.

Riverside’s July 4 parade steps off at 8:45 a.m. from Delaplaine Road and heads south down Longcommon Road into the downtown and across the tracks, ending at the Riverside Township Hall, 27 Riverside Road.

Special parade guests this year are the Chicago Bears Drumline and the band Voodoo Zydeco, both of whom will hang around after the parade to provide entertainment at the post-parade festival in Guthrie Park, which runs from roughly 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Community groups will be selling pizza, hotdogs, bratwurst, baked goods, water and lemonade shakeups. There will also be activities for kids, including face painting, clowns and a balloon artist.

The annual Toddler Trot for kids up to the age of 10, always a highlight of the festival, will start near the train station at 11 a.m. 

Other local fireworks displays

If you’re looking for fireworks this year over the Independence Day weekend, you’ll have at least two other nearby options to choose from.

For the first time in almost a decade, the city of Berwyn will host a fireworks display on Sunday, July 3 at Morton West High School, 2400 S. Home Ave., with festivities beginning at 8:30 p.m. and fireworks at dusk.

On July 4, the village of Lyons will host a Kids Party in the Park from 6 to 9 p.m. at Veterans and Smith parks, located south of Ogden Avenue along Lawndale Avenue. Fireworks at the parks will blast off at dusk.