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updated: 7/5/2014 12:14 AM

Parades, picnics, festivals, fireworks as suburbs celebrate Fourth

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  • Video: Fourth parades

  • Michael Johnson and Jake Priester, both of Prospect Heights, try their best to get candy at the Arlington Heights Fourth of July parade Friday.

       Michael Johnson and Jake Priester, both of Prospect Heights, try their best to get candy at the Arlington Heights Fourth of July parade Friday.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Rainey Roy, 6, of Barrington watches the Barrington Fourth of July parade Friday.

       Rainey Roy, 6, of Barrington watches the Barrington Fourth of July parade Friday.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Ed Searing, center, with the Lake Zurich VFW Post 11020, cooks with his sons Matt, left, and Don during Friday's Fourth of July family day at Paulus Park in Lake Zurich. It's the 22nd year that the VFW post has hosted a picnic for veterans from the VA hospital in North Chicago.

       Ed Searing, center, with the Lake Zurich VFW Post 11020, cooks with his sons Matt, left, and Don during Friday's Fourth of July family day at Paulus Park in Lake Zurich. It's the 22nd year that the VFW post has hosted a picnic for veterans from the VA hospital in North Chicago.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Carrie Adams, 8, of Mundelein celebrates Fourth of July in style Friday in Vernon Hills.

       Carrie Adams, 8, of Mundelein celebrates Fourth of July in style Friday in Vernon Hills.
    Paul Valade/ pvalade@ dailyherald.com

  • Elgin Sports Hall of Fame inductee Bob Thoren, who recently turned 90, waves to the crowd Friday during the Elgin Fourth of July Parade. Thoren was in the Elgin High School Class of 1942 and was an outstanding golfer.

       Elgin Sports Hall of Fame inductee Bob Thoren, who recently turned 90, waves to the crowd Friday during the Elgin Fourth of July Parade. Thoren was in the Elgin High School Class of 1942 and was an outstanding golfer.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Aiden Jaquez, 6, gets a head start with other family members close behind him Friday at the Fourth of July Great Western Freedom 4 Run & Walk to benefit Lazarus House at the LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve near St. Charles.

       Aiden Jaquez, 6, gets a head start with other family members close behind him Friday at the Fourth of July Great Western Freedom 4 Run & Walk to benefit Lazarus House at the LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve near St. Charles.
    Brooke Herbert Hayes | Staff Photographer

  • Nicholas Principe, 4, and his mother, Melissa Principe of Wheaton, watch their hometown Independence Day parade.

       Nicholas Principe, 4, and his mother, Melissa Principe of Wheaton, watch their hometown Independence Day parade.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Charles Robinson, owner of Robinson's Ribs in Chicago and Oak Park, sauces up several slabs of ribs during the Fourth of July Ribfest in Naperville.

       Charles Robinson, owner of Robinson's Ribs in Chicago and Oak Park, sauces up several slabs of ribs during the Fourth of July Ribfest in Naperville.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

 

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.

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