A healthy dose of good ol' Americana came to hometown streets, parks and backyard picnics Friday as suburban residents celebrated our nation's freedom with Fourth of July parades, feasts, festivals and fireworks.
A warm, bright day drew thousands to parades in towns from Arlington Heights to Elgin and Vernon Hills to Wheaton, and crowds packed festivals and relaxed neighborhood gatherings.
In Island Lake, the post-parade picnic was so popular, Mayor Charles Amrich had to run to a nearby store to buy 300 more hot dogs. In South Elgin, victorious Little League teams toted trophies and turned the parade into a championship celebration of their own.
The suburbs wrapped up a picture-perfect Independence Day with splashes of color and flashes of light, as fabulous fireworks displays lit the sky on the nation's 238th birthday.
More pictures on Page 6.