Before fireworks filled the night sky, patriotic spirit was in the air on Monday, July 3, in Wilmette.
The park district’s annual Independence Day celebration lasted most of the day with the Yankee Doodle Dash 5K in the morning, the Star Spangled Splash in the afternoon, and the Fun and Fireworks in the evening at Gillson Park.
More than 500 racers participated in the 5K — the highest total park district Executive Director Steve Wilson can remember.
The Star Spangled Splash, a first-year event, welcomed about 600 guests to Centennial Park. The pool was free for residents, and the park hosted carnival games, face painting, a bounce house, confetti “fireworks” and more.
And per usual, thousands of guests came to Gillson Park to enjoy an evening of entertainment, food and fun.
Nashville Electric Company and Spoken Four provided live music from the main stage, while the Jessie White Tumblers and roving performers offered more entertainment.
Wilson said the district estimated a standard crowd of around 20,000 guests and said no major issues were reported.
The beach was open, but because of high bacteria count, Lake Michigan was not.
Glencoe also held some Independence Day festivities on July 3, including the Party in the Park with games, live music, food and fireworks in Lakefront Park.
Wilson said Wilmette and Glencoe hold day-early Fourth of July fun in a joint effort to allow area emergency departments to cover all the activity. Evanston, Winnetka and Northfield host events on July 4.
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