Time to fete the Fourth

Happy Fourth! And Happy 246th birthday USA!!

One might think the country would be feeling its age, but - while the last couple of years would make any republic curmudgeonly - Americans always seem ready to celebrate with youthful exuberance.

Hinsdale knows how to ignite the patriotic spirit with its Fourth of July festivities, starting with the Independence Day parade at 10 a.m. through the village's downtown. Due to reconstruction work on Garfield Avenue, the procession will step off this year from Park and First streets, travel west down First to Grant Street, then head south on Grant to Seventh Street.

A full lineup of participants is slated, including the Hinsdale Central High School Marching Red Devils, the Chicago Honey Bear Dancers, military reenactor units, Those Funny Little People and many more.

The village sponsors the event, and Hinsdale Parks and Recreation Superintentendent Heather Bereckis said it's a highlight of the summer.

"I think the longstanding tradition and exceptional community involvement is what really makes the Hinsdale parade a must-see event," Bereckis said. "If they aren't in the parade, they line the streets to see it!"

Following the parade, head over to Burlington Park, where the annual craft fair will follow at 11 a.m. Visitors will enjoy browsing and shopping among dozens of vendors offering their unique handmade arts and crafts, family activities. The West Suburban Concert Band will perform at 1 p.m., and refreshments will be available for purchase. The fair ends at 4 p.m.

Visit https://www.villageofhinsdale.org for details.

Here are some other events worth checking out this holiday weekend.

Picnic vintage style

Bring a picnic to Kline Creek Farm, 1N600 County Farm Road, West Chicago, between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. Saturday, July 2, for Picnicking for the Glorious Fourth. Enjoy the farm's lovely surrounding while celebrating the nation's oldest holiday with a historical picnicking display. Visitors can also help make a special dairy treat using ice from the icehouse, learn about period music, play historical games and watch model hot-air balloon launches, too.

Reservations are not required. Visit https://www.dupageforest.org or call (630) 876-5900 for more information.

Enjoy great flavors

Enjoy a special evening of food from selected Oak Brook restaurants and a spectacular closing fireworks display at Taste of Oak Brook from 3 to 10 p.m. Sunday, July 3. The festival, held on the Oak Brook Polo Fields at 700 Oak Brook Road, will feature offerings from eateries Fogo De Chao, La Barra, Labriola, Stan's Donuts and more. DJ-X will bring his unique deejay style to the event, mashing up various genres such as hip-hop/rock/house and electro, and face-painting will be available for kids.

On-site parking is $20; pre-paid premium parking is available in advance. Some children's activities require tickets. Beer, wine, sangria, water and soda will be available for purchase; outside alcohol is not allowed. The fireworks display typically begins about 9:30 p.m.

Visit https://www.oak-brook.org/taste2022 for more information.

Strike up the band

The Southwest Community Concert Band will perform patriotic songs and Americana favorites from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Monday, July 4, in the First Division Museum Military Park at Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton.

The celebration will include a special salute to the American Flag and U.S. armed forces, past and present. Seating for the concert is on the lawn; chairs, blankets and picnics are welcome. Concessions will be available for purchase; pets and alcohol are not permitted. Admission to the concert is free, parking is $10.

Visit https://www.cantigny.org for details.

Light up the sky

Experience the wonder, spectacle and fun of Westmont's annual Independence Day Celebration and fireworks display from 4 to 10 p.m. Monday, July 4, at Ty Warner Park, 800 N. Blackhawk Drive.

The event will feature a dozen food trucks including Dope Sandwich, 2 Twisted Chefs and Woogies Rolls, and live retro soul and rock n' roll music from Black Bolts Band starting at 7 p.m. Kids ages 4 to 12 can enjoy free games and crafts, and the whole family will marvel at the closing fireworks spectacular, which typically begins about 9:30 p.m.

Visit https://www.westmontparks.org for more information.