Old-fashioned fun for the Fourth of July in Chicago

Certain things are synonymous with Independence Day, and Chicago is a prime place to experience them all! Here are some spots for your Fourth faves.

 
 

Parades in Chicagoland

Everybody loves a parade, which is why almost every community in Chicagoland seems to have one on the Fourth of July. We're partial to Glen Ellyn's annual march and Highland Park's Fourth Fest, both of which include music, floats and lots of red, white and blue. Continue the fun at local parks with carnival games, live music and fresh food for sale.

 
 

BBQ at Naperville Ribfest

You want ribs? Naperville Ribfest's got `em. The four-day fest features a barbecue contest and all the food you could imagine (even for vegetarians!). Plus they've got fun rides and lots of other kid-friendly activities. On the Fourth, you can rock out to the sounds of Americana with country musicians Casey James and Love & Theft. Admission varies by day; visit website for information. Noon-10 p.m. July 3-7. Knoch Park, 700 S. West St., Naperville.

 
 

America's favorite pastime in Chicagoland

There's nothing more American than our so-called pastime. And while you could head into the city for some big-league play, we love the atmosphere at Chicagoland's minor league games. Where else do you get mascots invading the crowd, T-shirt cannons galore and the chance for kids to meet their ballplaying heroes? The Joliet Slammers, Kane County Cougars and Schaumburg Boomers are all at home on the Fourth, and we're guessing they've got some tricks up their sleeves.

 
 

Fireworks Spectacular at Navy Pier

This one's a no-brainer. We love the sight of bombs bursting in air over Lake Michigan, so we're heading to Navy Pier for its annual fireworks spectacular. The show starts at 9:30 p.m., but get there with plenty of time to spare. Or better yet, befriend someone with a lakefront balcony. Free. Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago.

 
 

American history in Chicago

What's that? You forgot that July 4th is actually about history? Don't worry, the Chicago History Museum's got you covered, with an event that celebrates what happened way back in 1776. It includes patriotic music and a reading of the Declaration of Independence-plus a kids' parade with a giant Uncle Sam. Let freedom ring! 10 a.m.-noon. Free. Uihlein Plaza, 1601 N. Clark St., Chicago. (312) 642-4600.

 
 
 







 
 
 
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