4th of July: Fireworks, fun, and more police on the street in Chicago

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VIDEOS: Fireworks, fun, and more police on the street in Chicago for July 4 (1 of 3)

Fireworks and fun are on hand for 4th of July weekend

There is plenty of fun lined for the the Fourth of July holiday, from festivals to firework shows and more. (WLS)

Amidst the fireworks, cookouts, and get-out-of-town traffic, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson revealed the police department's plan to keep Chicago safe over the July 4th holiday, including plans to put an additional 1,500 cops on the street.

Looking for fireworks? Click here for a listing of 2018 fireworks displays in the Chicago area

From festivals to fireworks, there is tons of fun throughout the Chicago area for everyone looking to celebrate the holiday.

In north suburban Palatine people are already flocking to Hometown Fest. Put on by the Palatine Jaycees, the summer carnival and fireworks show is in its 61st year.

"Everything made here stays in the community, goes to scholarships, the food pantry, a lot of other great causes," said Barbara Cima, president of the Palatine Jaycees.

It offers fun, rides, food, games and celebrations to people and families of all ages, and many have already arrived to stake out their spot for the 9:30 p.m. fireworks display.

"It's the Fourth of July. It's America. It's, like, apple pie, Cracker Jacks, baseball, carnivals," said Ryan Faber.

"It's just a great community, everybody's friendly, the Palatine community and people who work here, it's a beautiful place," said Gisselle Neri-Martinez.

Really, organizers and attendees say, this festival is just about one thing.

"It's the national holiday. You bring everyone together. You've got a divided country right now where people are taking sides like that. This just brings everyone together," said Ryan Faber.

Hometown Fest ends Wednesday.

WATCH: Boating safety tips for this holiday weekend
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With the Fourth of July holiday increasing regular boat traffic, boaters and passengers alike should heed these boating safety tips.

MILLIONS HITTING THE ROAD FOR HOLIDAY WEEKEND
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AAA says road travel is expected to be at its peak during Tuesday's rush hour thanks both to people heading home from work and those hitting the roads for the July 4th weekend.


For those looking to get out of town for the holiday, expect your commute to take twice as long as usual if you're on the roads between 4 and 6 p.m. AAA says road travel is expected to be at its peak during Tuesday's rush hour thanks both to people heading home from work and those hitting the roads for the July 4th weekend.

To ease congestion, both the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois Tollway are limiting road construction over the next couple of days. With some temporary lane closures suspended through Thursday morning, 4.7 million vehicles are expected to crisscross the Illinois Tollway system alone. About 2 million are expected on the road Tuesday, and they will be monitored from the Tollway's traffic operations center in Downers Grove.

"We'll have our help vehicles out there. Our highway emergency lane patrol vehicles. They will be monitoring the tollways to help assist the motorists," said Elizabeth Gorman, Illinois Tollway.

According to GasBuddy, as of Monday afternoon the average gas price in Chicago was over $3, close to 63 cents higher per gallon than last year's average. But there are more people on the roads as a robust economy sees people spending more money on holiday travel.

CHICAGO POLICE UNVEIL PLAN TO CURB HOLIDAY WEEKEND VIOLENCE
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CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson revealed plans to put another 1,500 cops on the streets of Chicago this holiday weekend.



CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson revealed plans to put another 1,500 cops on the streets of Chicago this holiday weekend. Independence Day has historically been one of the most violent holidays in the city.

The additional officers will not only be stationed in and around busy transit hubs and major streets, but at least 100 of them will patrol parks and the lakefront. The increased presence, along with the department's new initiatives to curb summer holiday violence, is being done in partnership with state and federal agencies.

The deployment comes as police officials say violent crime in the city is on the decline. According to CPD data, June 2018 saw 27 percent fewer murders and 13 percent fewer shootings than in 2017. In the first six months of the year crime is down 11 percent, authorities said. There have been 79 fewer murders, a decrease of 23 percent, and 270 fewer shootings, a decrease of 20 percent compared to the same time period in 2017.

More than 100 people were wounded and 14 were killed in 2017 across the city in one of the deadliest Fourth of July weekends in years.

"Everyone is welcome to Chicago. Elderly, middle aged people, youth. We just need everybody to act responsibly," Johnson said.

Along with the additional officers, Johnson said police will be using technology to try to identify areas where violence is likely and address it before it becomes deadly.

GOING TO NAVY PIER FOR THE FIREWORKS? BE PREPARED

If you're planning to go to Navy Pier to watch fireworks on July 4, be prepared for crowds and for parking to fill up.

Navy Pier opens to the public at 10 a.m. Wednesday and large crowds are expected. Navy Pier is expected to reach capacity during the day; at that time the gates will close as a matter of public safety.

All visitors will have to pass through security checkpoints, and all bags are subject to inspection.

Due to the expected traffic in Streeterville there will be no parking, stopping or standing on Streeter Drive, Grand Avenue and Illinois Street. The Chicago Transit Authority will provide additional buses servicing Navy Pier

Fireworks begin promptly at 9:30 p.m. on July 4.
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society4th of julyjuly 4thholidaytraffictravelfireworkscarnivalchicago violencechicago police departmenteddie johnsonnavy pierChicagoNavy PierPalatineBronzeville
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