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4th Of July Fests & Fireworks In The Suburbs

By Rachel Azark

You can't have a Fourth of July without fireworks. Fortunately, Navy Pier isn't the only place to go to watch them. Many of the Chicago suburbs are also hosting their own displays, many accompanied by food fests and as they say, "fun for the whole family." (Except that 13-year-old who thinks everything is uncool, including fireworks.)

Below, you'll find our favorite choices for fireworks this Fourth!

Also, for a complete list of fireworks shows in and around the city, check out!

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Naperville's Exchange Club's Rib Fest

Knoch Park
724 S. West Street
Naperville, IL

The Rib Fest is five, fun-filled days of tastiness. If you're in the mood for ribs, pulled pork, BBQ chicken, and lots of sauces, get your handi-wipes ready, because this is the place to be. Not to mention their music fest too, which will include American icon ZZ Top performing July 1 at 8 p.m. Their 30-minute fireworks display, touted as one of the largest in the Chicagoland area, starts at 9:30 p.m. on July 3. Ticket prices are listed online.


Palatine's Hometown Fest 2012

Palatine Community Park
Palatine Rd. & Northwest Highway (Rt. 14)
Palatine, IL

Starting Friday, June 29 enjoy six days of fun. Ride the rides at the carnival, enjoy the sites of the parade on Saturday, participate in a LifeSource Blood Drive on Sunday, and view a great fireworks show on Tuesday. They will also be hosting an event to hopefully set a world record with the most hand-held games played at one time. In addition, music concerts will be held for five nights starting at noon and running until 10 p.m. each day.


Glen Ellyn 4th of July

Lake Ellyn Park
645 Lenox Rd.
Glen Ellyn, IL

There are not many places around the suburbs where you can witness a cardboard regatta. On June 30, a cardboard regatta will be held at Lake Ellyn. Will the boats in the regatta sink or swim? Head over to take a look for yourself. On Wednesday the 4th the Glen Ellyn parade will start at noon at Glenbard West High School. When the parade is over, head over to Lake Ellyn Park to get a $3 wristband and enjoy all the festivities. At dusk the fireworks will dance in the sky over Lake Ellyn!


Tinley Park

McCarthy Park
16801 S. 80th Ave.
Tinley Park, IL

Are you in the South suburbs and wondering what's for you? Tinley Park is hosting a 4th of July party starting at 8 a.m. with a Stars & Stripes 5K run/walk. At 10 a.m. the batting cages and the miniature golf open. The party really starts at 4 p.m. though with the opening ceremonies and the National Anthem. Get ready for games and races, the penny carnival, and inflatables including a wind tunnel, moonwalk and obstacle course. At 9:15 p.m. the Grand Finale Fireworks Extravaganza begins!

Pleasant Dale Park Independence Day Celebration

7425 S. Wolf Rd.
Burr Ridge, IL 60527
Phone: 630-662-6220

Looking for free fun for the family? Each year Pleasant Dale Park District hosts their fireworks on July 3rd. Bring your picnic blankets and chairs and set up for a great show. Starting at 5 p.m. the park will sell snacks and non-alcoholic beverages at their Gazebo. Make sure to be at the park by dusk to get a spot for the fireworks. Parking can be hard in the area, so make sure to get there early.

Rachel Azark is a writer and lives on Chicago's Northwest side. Read more of her work on her blog

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