North Shore Independence Day Celebrations & Fireworks

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker 475.122968

I don’t know why, but I get a little nostalgic on the 4th of July, especially since I moved to the North Shore.  I think it’s because we celebrate Independence Day pretty much the same way our ancestors did a hundred years ago, and I love the fact that we keep these traditions alive. Fourth of July is when our community feels most like a small town anywhere in the Midwest. I love our parades with handmade floats, Uncle Sam leading the way on stilts and people along the route cheering and waving their little American flags. I love the small town fun: the running races, pie-eating contests and patriotic music. And I love settling in at dusk to enjoy the fireworks. I always get a little shiver as I watch and am reminded how lucky I am to be an American.

The festivities planned by each of the communities don’t change much from year to year, but in case you haven’t celebrated Independence Day here before, or you just need a reminder, here’s what the North Shore has planned to celebrate our nation’s birthday.

Some things to note:

  • Wilmette’s celebration is on the 3rd of July, as usual.
  • Winnetka’s parade is back to starting at 10:00 am (last year they moved it to 1:00 pm).
  • Lake Forest is the only community that charges an entrance fee to its festivities. That’s because it’s a fundraiser for the Parks and Recreation Department and there’s a Rick Springfield concert before the fireworks. (If you go just to see the fireworks, you can get in for free after the concert).


July 4

2:00 pm – Parade from Central Park Avenue east on on Central Street to Ashland Avenue.
7:30 pm – Twilight concert by the Palatine Concert Band.
9:15 pm – Lakefront fireworks
Visit for more info.


July 3

8:00 am – Fun run in Gillson Park
4:00 pm – Festivities begin in Gillson Park: Taste of Wilmette, musical entertainment, games and races.
9:30 pm – Fireworks in Gillson Park.

The easiest way to get to and from the Independence Day celebrations in Gillson Park is by using the special Pace shuttle bus service. Motorists may park at Edens Plaza or at the METRA commuter lot. To see a complete listing of events or for additional transportation information see the Wilmette Park District’s website.

Read the rest of North Shore Independence Day Celebrations

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