Where to find July 4 fireworks, modified parades and decorating contests
July 4 weekend is here -- minus much of the usual fanfare.
Festivals and most fireworks displays have been canceled because of COVID-19, and what festivities remain are far from traditional. But thanks to car parades, decorated-home routes and a few fireworks options, you can still get your fill of red, white and blue this weekend.
• McHenry: Fireworks will be launched at 9:30 p.m. July 4 from two locations -- the areas of Knox Park/Municipal Center and Fox Ridge Park -- to allow residents to view the displays from home. Neither site will be accessible to the public. The rain date is Sunday, July 5. cityofmchenry.org.
• Naperville: Fireworks in Naperville this year offer a few viewing options and a new location at the Frontier Sports Complex. The display will run 9:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 4. Viewers can watch from their cars or at a large field in the park, but they are asked to practice social distancing. Parking is available at the park, 3380 Cedar Glade Drive, and at Neuqua Valley High School, 2360 95th St.
• Schaumburg: First, the good news: Drive-In fireworks have been scheduled for July 2, 3 and 4 at Boomers Stadium. The bad news: The established viewing areas around the stadium are all sold out. boomersbaseball.com.
• Spring Grove: Richardson Farm in Spring Grove opens for parking at 6 p.m. July 4 at 909 English Prairie Road. Attendees can stay in their cars or set up chairs in front of their cars to enjoy a picnic. Bring your own food, buy some at food trucks or get snacks from golf carts selling beer, kettle corn and doughnuts. $20 per car, cash only. Phase 4 social distancing rules will be in place. richardsonadventurefarm.com.
• Arlington Heights: Baird & Warner is sponsoring the 4th of July Parade Reimagined from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. July 4. Participants will be stationed in the parking lot at 210 W. Northwest Hwy., and visiting cars can drive by to enjoy live music, wave to veterans and the mayor and more. Social distancing will be observed.
• Aurora: Replacing the traditional Fourth of July parade this year is a Salute to Healthcare Workers Fourth of July Processional. Included in the processional will be 10 vehicles from Aurora's police and fire departments, the city's emergency management agency and the Kane County sheriff's office. The event is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. July 4 at Rush-Copley Medical Center, 2000 Ogden Ave., and it's expected to end about 10:45 a.m. at AMITA Health Mercy Medical Center. See the route at aurora-il.org.
• Barrington: The village of Barrington is encouraging residents to decorate cars, bicycles and wagons and drive through their neighborhoods from 10 a.m. to noon July 4, creating mini-parades for Barrington JULY 4th Reimagined. The village will also deploy a small parade of fire and police vehicles, along with Bob the DJ. There will be prizes, and the parade will be livestreamed on Facebook. www.barrington-il.gov.
• Batavia: The Batavia VFW Post 1197 will host a mini parade for kids on its 6-acre property at 645 S. River St., where leaders say they have plenty of room to social distance. Kids are asked to gather at 10 a.m., and they'll march around the perimeter starting at 10:30 on July 4. Fire trucks will be parked at the post for kids to tour. After the parade, the post will offer hot dogs, chips and soda free to children younger than 8 and $5 a plate for anyone older. Those who want to watch can bring lawn chairs. vfw1197.org.
• Carol Stream: Residents and businesses are asked to decorate in honor of July 4. Prizes will be awarded. The addresses will be listed on a map and posted on the village website at www.carolstream.org for those who want to see the decorations July 4.
• Glen Ellyn: A Patriotic Home and Storefront Decorating Contest calls for participants to meld creativity and patriotism. The addresses of all registered houses and businesses will be posted at www.GlenEllyn4thOfJuly.org/patriotic-addresses so people can check them out.
• Glenview: The Glenview Park District is staging a reverse parade from 10 a.m. to noon July 4 at Community Park West, 1001 Zenith Ave. Preregistered spectators can drive past the stationary floats. The event is free, but advance tickets are required by visiting glenview4th.org. Patriotic music will play on WHPK 88.5-FM during the event.
• Highland Park: The Virtual Kids, Bike & Pet Parade -- Highland Park Style will be presented via video at noon July 4. The chamber will post the video on the event page of its website, www.chamberhp.com, and also on its Facebook and Instagram accounts.
• Lakemoor: The Village of Lakemoor July Fourth Parade of Homes encourages residents to decorate the outside of their houses and show off their patriotism for those who want to drive, walk or bike around town July 4 and 5. For details, visit https://sites.google.com/lakemoor.net/village-july-4th-event/home?fbclid=IwAR025KeyRRwIDYFdSDsSdjwA5CoS5VbtnGt8gWj3PzYhAJeYRFgE6NMuMu4.
• Lincolnshire: The villagewide #LincolnshireStrong Independence Day house decorating contest encourages residents to decorate their houses, front yards, driveways and balconies for Independence Day.
• McHenry: The "Cavalcade for our Country" will feature dozens of decorated boats on the Chain O' Lakes throughout the day July 4. The procession will begin at 10:30 a.m. from the Snuggery on the upper Fox River in McHenry. From there, boats will sail through each of the lakes in the Chain and pass several parks so those on land can watch. For more information and a schedule of stops, visit the event's Facebook page at https://tinyurl.com/yal3z7s9.
• Naperville: Celebrating Naperville's Heroes is the theme of a rally hosted by Safe DuPage at 9:30 a.m. July 4 at Rotary Hill. The event will feature speakers, and attendees are encouraged to wear red, white and blue and bring a flag to wave. In addition, organizers are asking everyone to wear masks and respect social distancing guidelines. See www.facebook.com/events/267715161213458/.
• Northbrook: Northbrook is hosting a Fourth of July "Porch Parade." Residents were invited to decorate their houses, lawns and porches and submit their addresses to compete to win and to be added to an interactive parade route. For those who want to see the houses across town from 2 to 4 p.m. July 4, the map will be shared via the village website at northbrook.il.us, as well as on social media or by texting 4THJULY to 888777.
• Villa Park, Lombard, Wheaton and Glen Ellyn: At 10 a.m. July 4, DuPage Democrats are hosting a car parade and encouraging people to decorate. Awards will be given; registration is requested. The cars will gather at the Safari Land parking lot at 701 North Ave., Villa Park, and will get maps to the route. For information, go to www.facebook.com/events/215334566153782/.
• Waukegan: The Virtual Waukegan American Independence Parade -- Shoebox Edition runs 1 to 2 p.m. July 4 at www.facebook.com/events/654966672028140/. Families, businesses and organizations participated in advance by decorating a "mini float" with a box. For information, contact Debra at firstname.lastname@example.org or (847) 360-4740.
• Wheaton: Families are invited to participate in Wheaton Kids 4th of July Parade on July 4 at Adams Park, 201 N. Main St. Participants are encouraged to wear a costume and decorate their bikes or other ride-on toys. Families are asked to reserve a spot and observe safe practices. Staging and a collection drive of nonperishable food and personal care items start at 9:30 a.m., with the parade starting at 10. www.facebook.com/Wheaton4thKids/.