Get in on Independence Day

Take advantage of activities surrounding the Fourth of July holiday

Summer's biggest celebration is upon us, and Hinsdale residents have plenty of ways to join the party next week with fellow patriots across the country.

Nothing marks the season in the village more than the Independence Day festivities right in the downtown business district next Thursday, July 4.

Make sure to get a good vantage point for the annual parade, which begins at 10 a.m. It will kick off from Sixth and Garfield streets and travel north on Garfield to First Street, west on First to Grant Street and finally south on Grant to Sixth.

Following the parade, head over to Burlington Park for the annual craft fair, which opens at 10 a.m. Visitors can browse and shop among dozens of vendors offering their unique handmade arts and crafts.

Free family activities and entertainment also will be available, including kids' inflatables, carnival games, face painting and balloon twisting, along with food vendors selling tasty treats from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The fair ends at 4 p.m.

Visit for details.

The Hinsdale Historical Society is honoring the holiday in several ways. Secure four front-row seats for the parade in front of the historical society's Immanuel Hall, 302 S. Grant St., by being the highest bidder in a special auction. In addition to the reserved seats, winners will be provided with a tent, brunch treats and drinks for adults and children. To bid, visit

From 10 to 11:30 a.m., all are invited to meet, pet and take photos with the legendary "Nettie" the Donkey outside Immanuel Hall. Nettie crafts also will be available inside the hall for children. A $5 donation is suggested.

And learn about some of Hinsdale's early Fourth of July celebrations through the digital exhibit "Stars, Stripes & Hinsdale," which explores and includes histories, memories, photographs and ephemera from the Hinsdale Historical Society's Archives. Visit to check it out.

Several other events might be worth checking out this holiday weekend.

Food and fireworks

Enjoy a special evening of food from selected Oak Brook restaurants and a spectacular fireworks display at Taste of Oak Brook from 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, July 3, at the Oak Brook Polo Fields, 700 Oak Brook Road

Enjoy a variety of gastronomic delicacies from some of Oak Brook's favorite restaurants. Stop by Alter Brewing + Kitchen's beer garden for a cold beverage and relax in the generous seating area while taking in the live music from The Sixteen Candles Band and Modern Day Romeos.

The night will conclude with a spectacular fireworks display beginning at dusk, about 9:30 p.m.

Gates open at 3 p.m. Pre-paid parking is available in the Christ Church parking lot across Oak Brook Road for $20, in the soccer fields northeast of Oak Brook Public Library for $30, and in the north soccer field parking lot for $50. A private tent, which comes with two parking spaces, can be rented for $750.

Visit to purchase parking or for more information.

Land of the free - and fit

Get your July Fourth started with a workout in the Firecracker 5K from 7:45 to 10 a.m. beginning at the Warrenville Park District Recreation Center, 3S260 Warren Ave.

The scenic 5K course incorporates the Illinois Prairie Path, Warrenville Grove Forest Preserve and the streets of downtown Warrenville. A 50-yard dash for ages 3-6 and a 100-yard dash for ages 7-10 and a Sparkler 1-Miler for all ages gets the entire family involved. The first 300 participants are guaranteed a race T-shirt and goody bag. Awards will be given to the top three finishers in each group.

The 50- and 100-yard dashes start at 7:50 a.m. and cost $5 to enter. The 5K race will start at 8 a.m. and registration is $45. Those will be followed by the Sparkler 1 miler with a $20 entry fee.

Visit to register.

Old Glory salute

United States flags will fly in a solemn, straight-row formation at Wheaton's Seven Gables Park, 1750 S Naperville Road, from June 29 through July 4.

This stirring display of 2,000 flags, open dawn to dusk, serves as a patriotic tribute to honor the nation's heroes. Each evening offers patriotic performances, including vocalists, bagpipers, drummers, Honor Guards, flyovers and the playing of Taps.

For more information visit

Tunes and fireworks

Westmont's annual Independence Day Celebration will be held from 4 to 10 p.m. Thursday, July 4, in Ty Warner Park, 800 Blackhawk Drive.

This annual fireworks display and celebration brings individuals together to celebrate America in fantastic Fourth of July style.

The Westview Hills Band will begin performing at 4 p.m. to kick off the festivities, and kids activities will be offered from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Enjoy walk-around entertainment from 5 to 8 p.m. and music from the Black Bolts Band starting at 7 p.m. Several food trucks and a concession stand will offer bites on site, and beer ticket sales, cash or credit, are available from 4 to 9 p.m.

The main event, the fireworks spectacular, will launch around 9:30 p.m. The display originates north of the park, and ground fireworks in conjunction with the aerial display are launched from the very northeast corner of the park.

Visit for more information.

- compiled by Ken Knutson

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean