Wilmette, Community

Record Roundup: What, when and where for local Fourth of July festivities

North Shore communities are ready once again to party like its 1776.

Events in The Record’s coverage area (New Trier Township and Highland Park) will feature everything from races and shows to food and family activities to celebrate Independence Day.

See details on all the events below and check out village and park district websites for more information and registration instructions.


Celebrate Independence Day in Wilmette on Monday, July 3, with a variety of events, including two annual traditions and one new event.

The day begins at 8 a.m. with the annual Yankee Doodle Dash that leaves from and ends at Gillson Park; though, registration has already closed.

The Star Spangled Splash, the park district’s new event, provides free family activities — carnival games, face painting, bounce houses and a confetti fireworks show — from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Centennial Park.

Pool access at the park is free for residents on July 3, but the daily fee still applies for nonresidents.

To end the day, Fun and Fireworks at Gillson Park runs from 5-10 p.m., with a fireworks display beginning around 9:30 p.m. There will also be food for purchase from a variety of vendors including Grecian Kitchen, Mustard’s Last Stand, Domino’s Pizza and Jerusalem Pita. Various entertainment acts will perform from 5 -7:30 p.m. including band Nashville Electric, children’s entertainers and the Jesse White Tumblers.


Winnetka residents get a sneak peek of the Village’s Fourth of July fun on Saturday, July 1, when the park district hosts a Freedom Run along the Green Bay Trail that begins at 8 a.m. Registration is available through the park district website.

On the Fourth, events kick off with a parade that begins at 10 a.m on the corner of Elm Street and Glendale Avenue. Organizations will march with orchestras, jugglers and Uncle Sam on stilts, among others. Residents are encouraged to fill out the parade application and decorate their wheels or dress up in a costume.

The parade ends at Village Green Park where there will be a flag-raising ceremony, as well as a flag parade for children and family races. These events are scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Later in the day, the park district will host Fourthfest 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Skokie Playfields just before the fireworks. The event includes performances, food trucks and children’s activities, including balloon artists, tattoos, face painting and games with the purchase of a child’s wristband.

The day will end with fireworks that start at 9:20 p.m.


The City of Highland Park’s annual Fourth of July festivities will look different than previous summers, as the town marks one year since the tragic mass shooting.

The day begins with a remembrance ceremony at City Hall at 10 a.m, commemorating the victims of the attack. According to the city’s website, “The ceremony will include a performance by the Highland Park Strings, remarks by Mayor Nancy Rotering and interfaith clergy, and a moment of silence at 10:14 AM, when the first shots were fired on July 4, 2022.”

Those who participate in the remembrance ceremony are required to go through a security area.

Following the remembrance, there will be a community walk at 11 a.m. that will follow that route of last summer’s parade.

The city’s website explains that the theme of the celebration, “We are Highland Park,” focuses on embracing community and comfort.

The community walk will end at Sunset Woods Park around 11:30 a.m., where the Park District of Highland Park has organized a community picnic where there will be family-friendly activities, food and live performances.

In the evening, there will be live music and ice cream at Wolters Field. The evening will end with a drone show instead of a fireworks display.

Registration is required for the remembrance ceremony, the community walk and the evening celebration due to anticipated crowd sizes, according to the city website. While registration is not required for the community picnic, it is encouraged. Registration is free and can be done through the city’s website.


Glencoe’s Fourth of July festivities will take place over two days. On the evening of Monday, July 3, the park district is hosting a Party in the Park featuring games, live music and food from 5-10 p.m. at the Lakefront Park.

The fireworks display over Lake Michigan will begin at 9 p.m.

On Tuesday, July 4, the day will begin with a Rotary Fun Run at 8 a.m. starting at the Glencoe Train Station. The race is free but donations to the Glencoe Rotary Club are appreciated. Registration through the park district is encouraged.

The day continues at Kalk Park with patriotic games and family fun from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

The last event of the day is the parade, which sets off from downtown Glencoe from the intersection of South Avenue and Hawthorn Avenue around 1 p.m. 


Northfield’s Fourth of July parade begins at 10 a.m. from Old Willow Road and Somerset Lane and will end at the Community Center at Willow Park. 

There will be a bike, wagon and stroller decoration contest at 10:30 a.m. Concessions selling food, drinks and snacks will also be available at this time.

From 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., there will be a variety of children’s activities including bounce houses, sand art and a giant slide. At 11 a.m., there will be races and an egg toss for children and their families.

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Rosie Newmark

Rosie Newmark is a 2023 Record intern and an incoming senior studying journalism and history at Northwestern University. Rosie has written for multiple campus publications in addition to the Hyde Park Herald and American Libraries Magazine.

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