Wilmette, News

Fourth of July primer: Where and when to celebrate Independence Day in New Trier Township

Fourth of July celebrations in New Trier Township are back with a bang this year after many were canceled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Record compiled a brief roundup of upcoming holiday fun in New Trier Township this weekend.


Wilmette will be full of Independence Day fun this year.

The Wilmette Park District’s Fun and Fireworks event is set for Saturday, July 3, at Gillson Park. According to information from the park district, festivities will begin at 4 p.m. The fireworks show will start at 9:30 p.m.

Live music performances and food all evening will be available, the park district says. The Elmwood Dunes will be closed for this year’s event, officials say.

Park officials released the following information with “notable changes” to expect this year:

• The Park District will not be hosting children’s games or rides. Entertainment will be limited to music and fireworks.
• No buses this year: Pace Bus shuttle to and from Gillson will not be available this year. This means Wilmette will have a high volume of traffic in the parking lot and surrounding neighborhood. Officials are encouraging people to plan ahead.

The Winnetka Park District and village are bringing back their annual Fourth of July parade. The parade down Elm Street will begin at 10 a.m. at Glendale Avenue. It will conclude at Cedar Street, officials said.

At this year’s parade, Glenn L. Felner, a World War II veteran, will serve as the grand marshal. Officials said the parade “will afford parade attendees the opportunity to recognize Mr. Felner’s bravery, leadership, and patriotism for his participation in what has been called the “greatest American battle of the war.”

A Chicago native, Felner enlisted in the Army after high school, according to a press release from the Village of Winnetka. Felner served as a technical corporal for the 271st Regiment, 69th Infantry, Division Seventh Army.

Felner fought in the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes region of Belgium.

He received several military accolades for “his heroic activities including the Combat Infantry Badge, the U.S. Bronze Star, and the French Legion of Honor decoration,” according to the release detailing his achievements.

These other events will also be held on the fourth in Winnetka:

• Activities on the Skokie Playfield
• Activities in Village Parks
• A 5k Freedom Run
• Pop-up ice cream events at Winnetka beaches

The village’s fireworks were rescheduled to Saturday, Sept. 25.

In Glencoe, locals can enjoy a Fourth of July parade and fun run. The Glencoe Park District is also hosting preschool and family games at Kalk Park during the day Sunday, July 4, 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.

The Village release a detailed schedule for Fourth of July festivities. The schedule, compiled by the village, is included below:

Rotary Fun Run
8 a.m., Glencoe Train Station
Meet at the Glencoe Train Station for a two-mile fun run. All ages welcome, optional $5 to 10 donation to benefit Glencoe Rotary causes.  

Preschool Games
9 to 11 a.m., Kalk Park
Free games and activities for preschool friends will take place at Kalk Park.

Family Games
11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Kalk Park
Play musical chairs, make a toilet paper mummy and take part in silly races designed to get the whole family laughing. The fun will start at 11 a.m. in front of Liza’s Gazebo in Kalk Park.

Village Parade
1 p.m., Downtown Glencoe
Watch as neighbors and community groups parade through downtown Glencoe. The parade will kick-off at 1 p.m. at Central School and weave down Vernon Avenue to Park Avenue, ending at Village Hall. 

The parade route for Glencoe’s Fourth of July parade.

Steel Drums at the Beach
1 to 4 p.m., Glencoe Beach (Season Pass Holders Only)
Glencoe Beach will be open to season pass holders 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 4. A steel drum band will play on the sand from 1 to 4 p.m. for season pass holders to enjoy.

The Northfield Park District will also hold Fourth of July activities, including 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.

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This article was developed using publicly available information, such as press releases, municipal records and social media posts.

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