Wilmette, Community

Back With A Bang: Wilmette’s July 3 celebration is back on, while Northfield will gather on the Fourth

Wilmette’s Independence Day festivities will return in full force this summer.

Local officials recently announced that the Wilmette Park District’s annual event will return this year after it was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In early May, around the time both Winnetka and Glencoe announced postponements of their Fourth of July events, the Wilmette Park District was still undecided on its ever-popular, all-day celebration that attracts thousands and thousands of revelers to Gillson Park. But information from the park district, and a graphic in the Village of Wilmette’s weekly newsletter, says the event is now a go.

“Since the last meeting of the Board of Park Commissioners, the Wilmette Park District was pleased to announce the return of the fireworks to July 3rd,” said Steven Wilson, the Wilmette Park District’s executive director in a memo. “Staff has been formulating the event and working with both the Wilmette Police Department and Public Works to make sure the event is a success.” 

A promotion that was included in the Village of Wilmette’s newsletter on Friday, June 11.

Wilmette’s annual July 3 event will include a fun run in the morning, a festival in the late afternoon (4 p.m.), and fireworks to punctuate the evening at 9:30 p.m. at Gillson Park. 

The festivities are mentioned in the Wilmette Park Board’s agenda packet under Wilson’s director’s report.

Additional details on the event will be finalized and made available to the public in the coming weeks, officials said, but is at least one change. The Pace Bus service that typically runs out of Edens Plaza for the event will not be provided at this year’s event, Wilson said, adding that “getting to the park will be more difficult for people coming from a distance.” 

Wilmette police and public works are developing “traffic patterns and parking and drop-off options so people can utilize carpooling and ride sharing services, and so people of all abilities are able to arrive safely at the park,” according to Wilson. 

The Northfield Park District will also hold Fourth of July activities, announcing an event from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on July 4 at Willow Park. According to the event listing, there will be “family fun,” including inflatables, games, races, a bike-decorating contest, and a food and beer tent.

As previously reported by The Record, neighboring Winnetka is planning to hold its Fourth of July parade, along activities at parks throughout the village and a 5K freedom run. 

In Glencoe, locals can enjoy a July 4 parade and fun run. The Glencoe Park District is also hosting preschool and family games at Kalk Park during the day, officials said. Glencoe Beach will be open for passholders on the holiday and a steel drum band will be playing at the beach in the afternoon.

Glencoe will also host “Summer’s Last Blast” on Sept. 3, an event that will feature live music followed by fireworks at Lakefront Park.

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martin carlino
Martin Carlino

Martin Carlino is a co-founder and the senior editor who assigns and edits The Record stories, while also bylining articles every week. Martin is an experienced and award-winning education reporter who was the editor of The Northbrook Tower.

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