July 4th weekend marks 1st major holiday since fully reopening Chicago

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Navy Pier was bustling with locals and tourists sporting their best red, white and blue as the Fourth of July festivities continue into the weekend.

Keeping in mind what celebrations looked like last year, people at the Chicago attraction are thankful for the fact that this year the holiday can be closely enjoyed with others.

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"It's good to get out and be in the greenery and see all the people and the kids are playing running around the water. It's really nice," said Gina Ruiz.

The fun was also extending throughout the city and suburbs.

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On the northwest side in Chicago's Independence Park, families took part in festive games; the South Side's 31st Street Beach was a sea of beachgoers soaking in the holiday sun; and in the suburbs, the Westchester Fourth of July Parade had people from the village dancing in the streets.

"We have been deprived of like a year or two of fun and socialization, so it's kind of like we deserve it," said Dace Lukasa-Tangri.

People said this year's celebrations and being able to enjoy it with others show just how far we've come in this pandemic, with many people hoping that progress only continues so that more moments like this can be shared together.

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A busy and fun weekend is ahead for July 4 in the Chicago area, as many people start to celebrate their independence from COVID-19.

The fireworks show in Orland Park was a perfect end to holiday celebration.

"I feel blessed, blessed and highly favored. Being with my loved ones and being with my family and being with friends and just enjoying life," said Delores Linnear.

The Fourth of July Celebrations in Centennial Park was complete with a live band to get the crowds excited for the evening's light show.

"Last year was, you know, in house and confined but I'm so glad I'm out with my family enjoying the weather," Linnear added.

The Tangri family celebrated the Fourth of July with their closest friends versus their 2020 socially distanced celebration.

"Last year we found the farthest suburb with no people around and we took our own grill," said Sunny Tangri. "When we lose something and then we get it back, you appreciate it more."
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