Although residents of Bensenville and its surrounding towns have become accustomed to a days-long festival to celebrate the Fourth of July, the village's annual LibertyFest is taking a breather of sorts.
Because Fourth of July lands in the middle of the week this year, Bensenville, Elmhurst and Wood Dale are continuing their annual tradition of teaming up for LibertyFest but containing the fun to Wednesday.
LibertyFestThe annual Bensenville, Elmhurst and Wood Dale LibertyFest will be Wednesday, July 4, at Redmond Park, 735 E. Jefferson St., Bensenville. The event will include food from local vendors, the American Legion beer tent, music, a parade, contests and fireworks. Parking is at Blackhawk Middle School, 250 S. Church Road, and Fenton High School, 1000 W. Green St., and firework shuttles run from 6 to 11 p.m. Admission and parking are free. Info: bensenville.il.us.
10 a.m. "Saluting Our Heroes" Independence Day Parade
12:30 p.m. Bike decorating contest and parade contest awards; Dave Rudolph's beach party Jimmy Buffett tribute
12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Pony rides and petting zoo
1 to 4 p.m. Free public skate at the Edge Ice Arena
2 p.m. Bag Shot Row plays '60s British Invasion music
2 to 5 p.m. Mr. D's Magic Shows
3:45 p.m. Soul Patch Monkey plays classic rock from the '60s to today
5:30 p.m. In Session, of Bensenville, plays rock, pop and country
7:30 p.m. Chicago Catz plays R&B, jazz and rock
9:30 p.m. Fireworks
Organizers said this is "just a matter of calendar" and the multiday fest will resume in the future.
"Fourth of July isn't even close to a weekend this year and people don't have other days off," Bensenville spokeswoman Diana Paluch said.
Still, LibertyFest will include all the attractions that have made it a popular tradition since the municipalities first teamed up for the event in 2009.
The fest will launch at 10 a.m. with its parade, "Saluting Our Heroes." The grand marshal will be Bensenville resident and Tech Sgt. Dale Navigato, who serves in the U.S. Air Force in the 182nd Airlift and recently returned from Afghanistan.
The parade steps off from Town Center, Center and Green Street, and continues south on York Road to Jefferson, heading east to Redmond Park. Children are invited to decorate their bicycles to join the parade and for a chance to win prizes afterward.
New this year, LibertyFest will have a float decorating contest and civic groups and neighborhood organizations can enter by filling out a form on Bensenville's website, bensenville.il.us. Floats will be recognized following the parade at Redmond Park in both the professional and amateur category, and for best novelty entry and best musical entry.
Other favorite activities are returning, including a full slate of musical acts, free ice skating at the Edge Ice Arena, a petting zoo and pony rides for children, and a fireworks show.
Paluch said the event is popular because it caters to visitors' ideas of community pride and tradition.
"Everyone is involved," she said. "You've got the Kiwanis Club selling glow sticks and ice cream, the Rotary Club, the library, the American Legion all sponsoring different activities. That's what people really want on the Fourth of July: They want a hot dog, a parade and, of course, some good fireworks."