Winnetka, Community

Record Roundup: There’s plenty to do locally to celebrate Independence Day. Here are the details.

It’s time to fire up the grill and get the sparklers ready because summer’s main event is here. 

Independence Day on the North Shore is like no other. Whether you’re looking to wake up at the crack of dawn to run a 5K, catch a performance from Boy Band Review or enjoy a fireworks bonanza, the two-day extravaganza has something for everyone.


As per tradition, Wilmette’s Independence Day celebrations kick off early on July 3 with the Yankee Doodle Dash. The 5K runs through Wilmette starting at 8 a.m. Traffic on Sheridan Road, Washington Avenue, Forest Avenue, 10th Street and Westerfield Drive may be impacted during the race.

Following the dash, the party begins at Centennial Park in Gillson. From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., the Star Spangled Splash will host carnival games, face painting, bounce houses and more. The Centennial Pool will also be free for all Wilmette residents from 2-6 p.m. 

Wild Daisy will perform at 5 p.m. and Final Say at 7:30 p.m. The event also features food from many of Wilmette’s favorite vendors, including La Cocinita, Chabad Wilmette, Mustard’s Last Stand and more.

Finally, fireworks will light up the sky at 9:30 p.m., visible from Gillson Park. A memo from the village reminds residents that Elmwood Dunes and Canal Shores will be closed to the public. The memo also includes a map of expected traffic diversions and road closures.


Also celebrating early, Glencoe hosts their Party in the Park from 5-10 p.m. on July 3 at Lakefront Park. Games and activities will run until 8 p.m., and Boy Band Review will take the stage at 6 p.m. Fireworks will begin at 9 p.m. and be visible from Lakefront Park.

But the fun doesn’t end there. The Fun Run will commence another round of activities on July 4. Starting from the Glencoe Train Station at 8 a.m., the 2.1-mile run will go through Glencoe. Meanwhile, Kalk Park will host fun for the youngsters, including bounce houses, a giant slide, bags tournament and more, from 9:30-11 a.m.

The day will wind down with the annual Independence Day parade at 1 p.m. Beginning at the intersection of South Avenue and Hawthorn. According to Glencoe’s website, parking along the parade route will be prohibited beginning at 10 a.m. through the conclusion of the parade.


Young paradegoers wave American flags as the Fourth of July parade approaches in Winnetka.

The Firecracker 5K Race welcomes Winnetka’s festivities on July 4. The race begins bright and early at 7:30 a.m. along the Green Bay Trail.

Winnetka’s annual Independence Day Parade brings the community together to support local organizations and neighbors. The parade will begin at 10 a.m. on the corner of Elm Street and Glendale and march toward the Village Green.

As the parade wraps up, the Village Green opens for activities for all ages. Annual traditions, including the flag-raising ceremony and foot races, will commence at 11 a.m. and run until 1:30 p.m. 

The celebration then moves to Duke Childs Field. A performance from Shout Out at 7 p.m. will lead into a show of dazzling stunts from the Jesse White Tumblers at 8 p.m. Make sure you have a comfy spot, as fireworks begin at 9:20 p.m. and be seen from Duke Childs Field.

The streets along the parade route will be closed from 9:30 a.m. until the conclusion of the parade around 10:30 a.m. Additionally the streets surrounding the Village Green will be closed 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. For more information on events see the Winnetka Park District site.


Celebrations in Northfield will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on July 4 at Willow Park. The event begins with a bike and wagon parade and a decorating contest.

Following the contest, bounce houses, a giant slide, a balloonist and more will open up, and family fun races will start at 11 a.m. 

Highland Park

Mayor Nancy Rotering and other Highland Park officials lead the community walk on July 4, 2023.

This year, Independence Day will begin with a Remembrance Ceremony to honor the lives lost as the community continues to mourn the events of July 4, 2022. The ceremony will take place at Edgewood Middle School and include remarks from Mayor Nancy Rotering, faith leaders, and music. 

The Remembrance Ceremony will be open to the public, but advanced registration will be required. In the case that the event reaches maximum capacity, residents can join a waitlist, per the Highland Park website. A remembrance video message will also be available for those who cannot attend in person. 

Highland Park will also bring back their parade along a new route this year. At 1 p.m., the parade will begin at Laurel Avenue at 1st Street and head west on Laurel to Green Bay Road. It will go north on Green Bay until Central Avenue, then head west on Central Avenue until Sunset Woods, and then north on Sunset Woods to Sunset Woods Park. 

Upon arriving at Sunset Woods Park, 4th Fest will kick off from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The festival will host carnival games, face painting, a petting zoo and a reptile show. Performances from Radio Gaga, Nanny Nikki and Jesse White Tumblers will entertain the whole family. Da Local Boy, Michael’s Grill and Judy’s Pizza are just some of the local restaurants featured at the fest. 

Tasked with balancing the needs of the healing community, the City of Highland Park and the park district have created this schedule in hopes of providing a space of remembrance and tradition. With that, Highland Park will not host evening events this year. Highland Park’s Resiliency Division is available to support families during this time.

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