Chicago area 4th of July parades, firework shows celebrate holiday

ByEvelyn Holmes and Stephanie Wade and Maher Kawash WLS logo
Tuesday, July 4, 2023
Hyde Park Parade invites everyone to walk in July 4 celebration
Unlike other parades, everyone is invited to join the floats, marching bands, performers and politicians in Hyde Parks 4th of July parade.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Several 4th of July parades and events are happening across Chicago Tuesday and in the suburbs.

In his first parade as mayor, Mayor Brandon Johnson will be there and marching in the 4th on 53rd Parade. It started at the Hyde Park Bank from 55th to 53rd streets.

"You see the collection of voices that are out here today," he said. "When I talk about the soul of Chicago, this is what I mean."

Hyde Park residents and community members took to the streets for the 31st year.

"It's run for us in the community and run by us," said Dave White, parade organizer. "And it's something we do to come together."

The parade featured nearly a dozen entrants and many more participants, along with local businesses and some politicians. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle came dressed as Lady Liberty herself.

It's a parade where everybody marches, which organizers say gets the whole community involved.

"It's the sense of community. We love the Hyde Park community. We've been here for over a decade so it's always good," said Kimberly Morris.

"This is our second year walking in it and I love it. It's amazing for the community," said Trinity Thornton. "It's something good for the kids."

There was also a bike brigade featuring decorated bicycles, strollers and wagons, and an appearance by Cowboys on Horseback, a thrill for some first-time parade-goers.

Around 1,000 people attended the annual event, which was started in 1992 by a group of Hyde Parkers looking to celebrate Independence Day.

The parade ends at Nicholas Park with a huge festival in which neighbors not only celebrate the holiday but also their community.

In Arlington Heights, the parade stepped off at Dunton Avenue and Oakton Street, where it began winding its way through neighborhoods to Recreation Park.

People cheered as the patriotic floats and marching bands went by. One of the greatest gifts, people say on this holiday, is the quality time with family and friends.

It was a day for parades, grilling in parks and spending time with loved ons as people celebrated Indpendence Day throughout the Chicago area.

"We've been bringing the kids here every year since they were infants," Erin Robinson said. Arlington Heights is a great parade because there's so many high schools in the area, so I think there's five different marching bands that come through. It's a great activity. Everybody sets up the day before almost now and reserve their spot."

"And it's just the tradition of getting together with friends and hanging out that I just really like," Mary Robinson said.

In Glen Ellyn, the annual parade had families soaking up the sun as it rolled through the south side, featuring first responders, local organizations and kids marching along to live music and cheers.

"I like seeing the police and firemen because they do so much to help our community with everything," said Sebastian Stein.

Live music, local food and fireworks will make for a special night at Bolingbrook Golf Club, with thousands expected to attend.

"From the time that we open to the time we close that line is all the way down there on both trucks," said Mona Herrada of Off the Chain Mexican Cuisine.

It's not just one day of celebrating the 4th of July here in Arlington Heights, it's also their annual Frontier Days with five full days of festivities.

They have different activities, a slew of bands, and food each day including a soccer tournament, a teen battle of the bands, dog Frisbee, cornhole, and volleyball.

Over in Evanston, after a three-year hiatus, their 4th of July festivities will return Tuesday.

Fireworks 2023 near me: Full list of July 4th fireworks displays, events across Chicago area

The pandemic kept them virtual in 2020 and 2021 and then safety concerns following last year's parade shooting in Highland Park forced them to cancel at the last minute.

Their parade will travel along Central Street and fireworks will cap the evening along the lakefront.

in Aurora, their parade will step off from Broadway and Benton at 10 a.m. They kicked off festivities Monday night with a huge, annual fireworks extravaganza.

More than 30,000 visitors were expected to convene along the Fox River downtown.

Of course, there are many other suburbs like Antioch, Arlington Heights, Lincolnshire, Elgin, Yorkville that all have parades and celebrations Tuesday, as well.

Antioch will hold a Run for Freedom 5K at 8 a.m. at the corner of Cunningham Drive and Poplar Avenue.

A parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. and will begin at Route 173 and go along Main Street up to Poplar Avenue. The beginning of the parade until Orchard Street will be a "no siren zone" for those sensitive to loud noises.

There will then be a party at Williams Park at 3 p.m. and a fireworks show at 9:15 p.m.

Lincolnshire will hold a 5K race, parade, cardboard boat regatta and fireworks.

The 5K begins at 8 a.m. at Spring Lake Park, with a parade at 10 a.m. starting at Londonderry Lane and Lincolnshire Drive and a cardboard boat regatta immediately after the parade at 12 p.m. and a Blue Star Memorial rededication ceremony. A fireworks show will take place at 9:30 p.m.

In Elgin, the parade will start at 9 a.m. form the intersection of Douglas and Slade. Festivities will continue at Festival Park, 132 S. Grove Ave. in Elgin beginning at 5 p.m. and fireworks at 9:20 p.m.

Yorkville's parade begins at 9 a.m. starting at Yorkville High School, with activities Town Square Park after. And a fireworks show at dusk.

The Northbrook parade starts just west of Westmoor School at 4 p.m.