Highland Park Independence Day Parade returns

Highland Park will hold an Independence Day Parade this summer for the first time since a mass shooting during the city’s 2022 parade.

The city and the Highland Park Park District on Wednesday announced its slate of events for July 4.

A parade starting at 1 p.m. will be held in downtown Highland Park, along a different route than was traditionally used. Under the theme, “Sweet Home Highland Park,” people who register with the city in advance are invited to participate with floats, decorated children’s bicycles and pets, and other entries.

Information is available at

Wednesday’s news release said Highland Park residents also sought the return of the family-oriented 4th Fest, featuring food, rides, games and entertainment. That will be held from 1:30-4:30 p.m. at Sunset Woods Park.

A remembrance ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. at an indoor location yet to be disclosed. It will be open to the public but also subject to prior registration to ensure venue capacity, the city said.

There will be no city or park district events held on the night of July 4.

In 2023, in lieu of a parade, Highland Park offered a remembrance ceremony followed by a community walk down Central Avenue to Sunset Woods Park, where a picnic was held.

A concert by Gary Sinise’s Lt. Dan Band and a drone show with the theme of “We Are Highland Park” was held at Highland Park High School later that day.

“As we continue our journey as one Highland Park, we do so with respect, compassion, and support for all whose lives were forever changed on July 4, 2022, while maintaining the community spirit that has always been a hallmark of Highland Park’s Independence Day events,” Mayor Nancy Rotering said in Wednesday’s news release.

Updates to the city’s Independence Day celebration will be provided at and at

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