Suburbs ready to celebrate The Fourth with fireworks and more

By Erika Wurst For Chronicle Media

Communities throughout the suburbs will be hosting fireworks displays to celebrate Independence Day over three days, July 2-4.

If seeing just one fireworks display isn’t enough to fill your pyrotechnic fix this year, you’re in luck.

Independence Day festivities are happening all week across the suburbs, and each event brings something unique to the table.

Want to see Joliet’s Mayor play live on the drums or take your turn down the giant mudslide, then head to Bicentennial Park for the celebration.

Want to head bang in hopes of breaking a world record? Then Aurora is your place to be.

Those feeling ambitious can do both, as events are staggered over the course of the week.


On July 4, the city of Aurora is hoping to get 1,000 people together during their holiday event to head bang to Bohemian Rhapsody in honor of the movie Wayne’s World’s 25th anniversary. (The current Guinness World Record is 320 people head banging simultaneously.)

The Fox Valley Orchestra will perform the Queen song live onstage at River Edge park before the fireworks display.

Those looking to participate in the head bang challenge are asked to wear flannel or a bandana, and when ‘Stairway to Heaven’ plays they should meet at the barricaded area just in front of the stage. The group will sing along to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and when cued, begin the infamous head bang.

Food vendors, bounce houses and shuttles to and from the park help make this family friendly event one for the ages.


The city will host its Fourth of July Parade with a theme of Prehistoric Creatures. The parade will kick off at 9 a.m. beginning at Slade and Douglas.

The route ends at Douglas and Highland.  It is expected to last about two hours long.


If you’re looking for some down-home patriotic tunes, head to Batavia’s Fourth of July Sky Concert on July 4 where The Batavia Community Band will be playing for guests.

The Batavia Community Band entertains with a concert of patriotic music prior to the start of the fireworks in Engstrom Park. (Photo courtesy of Friends of Batavia Fireworks)

Savor the Flavor food vendors will begin serving food at 5 p.m., music starts at 8:15 p.m. and the fireworks show begins at 9:30 p.m. The event takes place at Engstrom Family Park, 326 Millview Drive, Batavia.


St. Charles will be hosting its community event at Pottawatomie Park
8 North Ave. from 6 to 9:15 p.m.  Create your own picnic and enjoy mini-golfing, golfing, swimming and a special concert/ Concessions will be available and the fireworks display will begin at dusk.


Just look to the skies in Lisle as the community hosts its annual Eyes to the Skies festival in Community Park. Festivities begin on June 30 and run through July 2. The carnival runs June 28 to July 2. Music, food, crafts, games, hot air balloons and three nights of fireworks for visitors to enjoy.


Hot air balloons and fireworks fill the skies over the western suburbs during Lisle’s annual Eyes to the Skies festival that runs June 30-July 2. (Photo courtesy of Eyes to the Skies)

The famous Ribfest will be wrapping up on July 3 with a fireworks spectacular to celebrate the Fourth of July.

Head to Knoch Park for a weekend of ribs, food, friends and fanfare before turning your eyes to the sky for the main event.

Festival lasts from June 30 – July 3 and in addition to ribs and other delicious food offerings, there will be top musical entertainment, including Toby Keith, A Flock of Seagulls and The B-52’s.  Family activities and other events will be featured daily.


Those who live near Oswego, or want to travel, can enjoy two pyrotechnic displays this year–one to commemorate the closing of the Vietnam Memorial Moving Wall on July 3, and a Fourth of July display that will rock the sky on July 4.

Rockford will celebrate its 54th annual Fourth of July Parade beginning at 7 p.m. on July 4. (Photo courtesy of

The Village Board chose to host two pyrotechnics shows this year to avoid having to choose one date over the other and disrupt family holiday celebrations.

For a full listing of fireworks display, and to plan your holiday accordingly, visit and search your town, county or state for your favorite attractions.


In Rockford, music, food, fireworks and fun will also be a priority.

The 54th Annual Rockford Fourth of July Parade kicks off at 7 p.m. on July 4, with Honorary Parade Marshal Joe Marino leading the pack.

Known as Mr. Fourth of July, Marino is the Executive Director of the Rockford Fourth of July Civic Committee. He created the committee in 1963, and with community donations Marino purchased fireworks and provided Rockford with its first downtown fireworks show.

This year’s show starts at 9:30 p.m. at Davis Park where more than 5,000 shells will explode over downtown Rockford.

Live music from Gramps with Amps and Courtney Davies and the Southern Charm Band will keep spectators at the Davis Park premium viewing area entertained.


If you can’t wait for the Fourth of July to get your fireworks fix, there’s plenty of events happening over the weekend that should get your engines revved.

From Crystal Lake to Joliet, the shows promise to be bigger than ever this year.

According to media reports, a local benefactor is looking to provide Crystal Lake with an additional $9,500 for its display this year. The expanded show will increase the intensity of the 2017 fireworks display but not the length, the village said.

The expanded display will take place on Main Beach, 300 Lake Shore Drive in Crystal Lake from 9-10 p.m. on July 2 during the Lakeside Festival.

The festival runs from June 29 to July 2 at Lakeside Art Park at the Dole.

Before you head to Crystal Lake, stop in Joliet on July 1 for the city’s Independence Day Celebration at Bicentennial Park, 201 W. Jefferson St., featuring food, music, drinks, a giant slide and a fireworks display for the ages.

Event takes place from 5-10 p.m.  Fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m.

For more information about Fourth of July festivities and fireworks in the western and far western suburbs go to for DuPage County and or Kane County events.




— Suburbs ready to celebrate The Fourth with fireworks and more —