Here in Evanston, Illinois, we're fortunate to have one of the best 4th of July celebrations in the country. That's right, in the entire country. We have the 2nd largest 4th of July parade in the state (second only to the City of Chicago's 4th of July parade)... with over 140 entrants, (many of them homegrown and local).
Our all day celebration begins at 9:00 am at eight different playground sites throughout the city providing games and activities for all ages, followed by a Fun Run along Central Street at 12:45 pm. The parade down Central St. kicks off at 2:00 pm. At 7:30 pm there is concert at the lakefront, and then the grand fireworks display at dusk.
All of this, excepting our police presence, is sponsored entirely by private funds raised by the Evanston 4th of July assocation. Our celebration dates back to 1922 when the North End Mother's club began the tradition.
Our fireworks, which begin around 9:30-ish... or whenever it gets dark enough... are incredible. Over $40,000 worth of professional grade fireworks are fired off at Clark Street beach, where locals set up grills, and claim their blanket space for the wonderful fireworks display, usually synced to patriotic music.
Have a great fourth!