Breaking News Bar
updated: 6/27/2012 12:19 PM

Unusual joins traditional suburban July 4 events

Big festivals, plus boxing, wine tasting, sky diving ...

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Eyes to the Skies in Lisle is one of the biggest and most popular suburban festivals leading up to July 4.

      Eyes to the Skies in Lisle is one of the biggest and most popular suburban festivals leading up to July 4.
    Daily Herald File Photo

  • Food is a big part of the suburban July 4 festivals.

       Food is a big part of the suburban July 4 festivals.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • July 4 fireworks shows are planned across the suburbs, even if a bit scaled down.

       July 4 fireworks shows are planned across the suburbs, even if a bit scaled down.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Arlington Heights' July 4 parade is one of the biggest in the Chicago area, and this year will have a New York City firetruck that responded to the 9/11 disaster.

       Arlington Heights' July 4 parade is one of the biggest in the Chicago area, and this year will have a New York City firetruck that responded to the 9/11 disaster.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Thousands of people line Main Street each year for Barrington's Fourth of July parade.

      Thousands of people line Main Street each year for Barrington's Fourth of July parade.
    Daily Herald File Photo

  • The Naperville Exchange Club's Ribfest is one of the suburbs' biggest and most popular July 4 festivals.

       The Naperville Exchange Club's Ribfest is one of the suburbs' biggest and most popular July 4 festivals.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • The band Survivor, seen here performing their hit "High on You" in 2007 in McHenry, will play during Northwest Fourth-Fest at the Sears Centre next week.

       The band Survivor, seen here performing their hit "High on You" in 2007 in McHenry, will play during Northwest Fourth-Fest at the Sears Centre next week.
    Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Carnivals will be part of many festivals during the next two weeks in the suburbs.

       Carnivals will be part of many festivals during the next two weeks in the suburbs.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Lenard "Sarge" James swings from one side to the other Tuesday as he and other workers set up the Ferris wheel for the 2012 Eyes to the Skies festival in Lisle. The carnival starts today.

       Lenard "Sarge" James swings from one side to the other Tuesday as he and other workers set up the Ferris wheel for the 2012 Eyes to the Skies festival in Lisle. The carnival starts today.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Video: Arlington Park fireworks

  • Video: Libertyville dog jumping

 
 

Barbecued ribs and cold beer, carnivals and fireworks, rock concerts and pie-eating contests.


The Fourth of July is a big deal in the suburbs, with a wide range of events stretching out for days and going on in just about every town.

Since the holiday falls midweek this year, there will be back-to-back weekends packed with festivals -- starting as early as Thursday -- to help celebrate our nation's 236th birthday. That's in addition to all of the parades, parties and fireworks on the holiday itself.

There are the big fests, of course -- the Naperville Exchange Club's Ribfest, Arlington Heights' Frontier Days, the Great Lakes Naval Station's 4th of July Celebration, and the Lisle Eyes to the Skies, to name a few.

But there are plenty of smaller-scale celebrations, too, like Grayslake's Family Picnic and Fireworks, Glen Ellyn's Fourth of July celebration or Cary's Summer Celebration.

Budget constraints forced some towns to scale down or combine their holiday plans. Northwest Fourth-Fest, for example, is a new, joint-venture July 4 event hosted by Hoffman Estates, Hanover Park, Elgin and Hanover Township. It runs July 4-8 at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates.

Regardless of where you live, or whether you're seeking a reading of the Declaration of Independence or just some inflatables for your kids to jump on, there is July 4 fun nearby.

Some of the more unusual offerings at the suburban fests this year include:

• An attempt to get into the Guinness Book of World Records for the "most hand-held games played at one time" at noon Sunday, July 1, at Hometown Fest in Palatine.

• A live amateur boxing match at the Great Lakes Naval Station 4th of July Celebration at 3:30 p.m. July 3.

An 1890s July 4 celebration, including the reading of the Declaration of Independence by costumed interpreters (and hand-churned homemade ice cream afterward), June 30 and July 1 at Forest Preserve District of DuPage County's Kline Creek Farm.

• A picnic, movie, fireworks and batting practice in the outfield at Schaumburg Boomers stadium at 6 p.m. July 3.

• Rock Valley Sky Divers dropping from the sky at 8 p.m. July 4 in Bartlett, before the fireworks show.

• A New York City firetruck that responded to the Sept. 11 disaster in Arlington Heights' Fourth of July parade at 10 a.m..

The Big Air Dog Jumping Competition, a qualifying tournament for a national championship, with tryouts starting July 5 and competitions running through July 8 at the pooch-friendly Dog Days of Summer festival in Libertyville.

• The UNCORK Barrington wine tasting July 6, followed by a craft brew fest July 7.

• Civil War re-enactments at 7 p.m. July 7 in Wheaton's Graf Park and all day July 7 and 8 in Wauconda's Lakewood Forest Preserve.

• 5K races at various times in Antioch (Run for Freedom), Arlington Heights (Frontier Days Stampede Run), Mount Prospect (Jaycees Sparkler), Lincolnshire (Red, White & Boom), as well as a 9 p.m. run July 3 at the Great Lakes Naval Station (Firecracker Rock and Run), and a 4-miler in St. Charles, the Great Western Freedom 4 Lazarus House.

And, of course, there's lots of live music.

Some of the bigger name bands coming to the area for the festivities include Survivor July 7 at the Northwest Fourth-Fest at the Sears Centre; the Steve Miller Band June 29, Joe Walsh June 30 and ZZ Top July 1 at Naperville Exchange Club's Ribfest; and Burton Cummings of The Guess Who July 4 and Foghat July 5 at Arlington Heights' Frontier Days.

For a full listing of July 4 events in the suburbs, see www.dailyherald.com/article/20120513/entlife/705139988/.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here