“Hurrah for the flag of the free. May it wave as our standard forever,” (cue the wicked piccolo solo).
You’ll be humming everyone’s favorite Sousa ‘smash single,’ (Stars & Stripes Forever) as you scour through our 2017 Lake County guide to the Fourth of July.
We all live for that moment when we look to the sky and anxiously await our favorite brand of boom and color spatter from a Lake County fireworks show.
From neighborhood block parties and backyard cookouts, to community festivals to parades, to live music and fireworks, honor Independence Day by donning your red, white and blue garb in Lake County.
Here is your 2017 Lake County Guide to the Fourth of July.
For five days, say Happy Birthday to America at Blarney Island’s Fourth of July Festival Weekend. The event begins with Thunder on the Chain – the biggest boat race of the year on Thursday, June 29. Throughout the weekend, the Antioch lakeside mainstay features a complete lineup of live entertainment including Chris ‘OZ’ Ferrara and the Common Good, the Nashville Electric Company and many more music acts.
Thursday-Wednesday, June 29-July 5. Blarney Island, 27843 West Grass Lake Rd., Antioch.
The event includes musical performances, food, drinks, arts and crafts, car show, carnival, a parade, activities for attendees of all ages and much more. The Independence Day Fireworks Show is held on July 3 at 9:30 p.m. The Mundelein Community Days musical entertainment lineup includes Anderlik & Church, Kev & Co, Classical Blast, Brass from the Past, Gina Gonzalez and the Wingmen and more. Compete in the Annual Freedom Classic 5K and Fun Walk on Saturday, July 1 at 8 a.m.
Friday-Monday, June 30-July 3. Downtown Mundelein, Seymour Avenue and Courtland Street, Mundelein.
‘The rocket’s red glare and the bombs bursting in air’ appear early in Grayslake. The Taste of Grayslake festivities include live entertainment, a moonwalk, carnival rides, face painting, an obstacle course, wall climbing and so much more. The July 1st fireworks show begins at dusk.
Saturday, July 1; 4-10 p.m. Central Park, Lake Street between Washington Street and Center Street, Grayslake.
Celebrate Independence Day at the Gurnee amusement park. Besides the exciting 15-roller coasters, the splashtastic slides at Hurricane Harbor and other fantastic thrills at Six Flags Great America, the three-day fest will feature a Coca-Cola® July 4th Zone with a live DJ, delicious eats, dance contests, live performances and a fireworks display each night before the park closes.
Sunday-Tuesday, July 2-4; 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Six Flags Great America & Hurricane Harbor, I-94 and Grand Avenue, Gurnee.
Waukegan provides two opportunities for visitors to observe Independence Day. The Sunday event at Bowen Park features a parade at 1 p.m that runs from Franklin Street and Sheridan Road to Bowen Park. The festival (following the parade) is highlighted by a petting zoo, pony rides, kid-tivities, a skate expo, musical entertainment from the Waukegan Band and more. On Tuesday, visit the lakefront for the Waukegan 4th of July Fireworks Show at 9:30 p.m.
Fest & Parade: Sunday, July 2; 1-5 p.m. Bowen Park, 1800 N. Sheridan Rd., Waukegan. Fireworks Show: Tuesday, July 4; 9:30 p.m. Downtown Waukegan, Lakefront, Waukegan.
The Naval Station Great Lakes Fourth of July Celebration is an event like no other. There is a full music lineup that includes the likes of Skillet, Bella Cain, the Navy Great Lakes Band and much more. Besides the live entertainment, the Naval Station Great Lakes event features a Firecracker 5K, family-friendly entertainment, yummy bites, carnival rides, a kid zone, paintball, rock climbing, family bingo, a craft fair and two days of fireworks. The Great Lakes festival was voted by the International Festivals and Events Association in 2011 as ‘one of the top three festivals in the world.’ The Independence Day celebration is a free admission event. Watch two nights of pyrotechnics lighting up the lakefront sky.
Monday-Tuesday, July 3-4; 3-10 p.m. Naval Station Great Lakes – Ross Field, Route 137, Great Lakes.
Yankee Doodle went to Lincolnshire riding on a pony. His adventure to the Lake County village ended when he arrived at the Red, White and Boom Fest (sans the cap, feather and macaroni). This annual celebration’s Sunday festivities include live entertainment, food & beer tent, a carnival, a variety of games and a classic car show. The Monday schedule is highlighted by a pancake feast, 5K, the annual parade, the cardboard regatta, more live music and more fun. The fest ends with a stunning fireworks extravaganza.
Monday-Tuesday, July 3-4. Spring Lake Park, 49 Oxford Dr., Lincolnshire.
Deerfield hosts its 54th Annual Family Days at Jewett and Brickyard Parks. The two-day celebration includes fireworks, a parade, arts and crafts tents, a 10K Race/5K Walk, rides, a petting zoo, the bike parade and a slew of other family fun-tivities. This Fourth of July, visit Deerfield to mingle, share, reacquaint and relish in the festivities.
Monday-Tuesday, July 3-4; Sun: 5-10 p.m., Mon: 8 a.m. Jewett and Brickyard Parks, 836 Jewett Park Dr., Deerfield.
Celebrate the ‘land of the free, and the home of the brave,’ in Antioch. The village’s celebration is highlighted by sports tournaments, the children’s fun fair, divine fare and drinks for purchase, a parade and live tunes. The event is kicked off by the Antioch Run for Freedom. The 23-year-old holiday race is perfect for both competitive runners and casual walkers on a challenging USATF certified course at the Antioch Scout House. Online registration closes at noon on July 3, but competitors can still register on race day. The celebration closes with the annual fireworks show in downtown Antioch.
Tuesday, July 4; 8 a.m. Williams Park, Main Street, Antioch.
Zion Park District is hosting a variety of events at Shiloh Park on Independence Day. The festivities include the city’s Mustang, Bronco and Pony Little League baseball all-star games, the Sixth Annual Fishing Derby, pony rides, a petting zoo, a plethora of concerts and live acts during the day, fair games and more. A fireworks show will close the evening’s celebration.
Tuesday, July 4; Starting at 9 a.m. Shiloh Park, 2400 Dowie Memorial Dr., Zion.
Spend your day in Vernon Hills and enjoy the Independence Day parade and plenty of evening entertainment. The parade steps off at Deerpath Drive south of Route 60 and Century Park at 9 a.m. Get a good spot on the street as you watch marching bands, floats, clowns, costumed characters, stilt walkers, local merchants, school groups, pageant winners and civic leaders march through Vernon Hills. Spend the day in Vernon Hills and return to Century Park at 6:30. The park hosts all of the Fourth of July evening festivities including a fireworks show at 9:30 p.m.
Tuesday, July 4; 9 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Deerpath Drive south of Route 60 and Century Park, north of Route 60 on Lakeview Parkway, Vernon Hills.
Celebrate our nation’s birthday at the Round Lake Beach Cultural & Civic Center. This event features games, family fun, live entertainment from the community band and cover band GooRoos. Round Lake Beach will provide a fireworks display at dusk.
Tuesday, July 4; 6 p.m. Round Lake Beach Cultural & Civic Center, 2007 Civic Center Way, Round Lake Beach.
Dress in your red, white and blue gear and head over to Butler Lake Park for the Libertyville Fourth of July Fireworks. The village band will perform a special concert featuring patriotic music and other favorites at 7:30 p.m. Then enjoy the fireworks display that begins approximately at 9:30 p.m.
Tuesday, July 4; 7:30 p.m. Butler Lake Park, 500 Lake St., Libertyville.
Visit Paulus Park in Lake Zurich to celebrate Independence Day. The festivities include live music and entertainment, kid games, inflatable rides, swimming and the Taste of Summer featuring local restaurants. The celebration concludes with a fireworks show launched by pyrotechnic experts from a barge on Lake Zurich.
Tuesday, July 4; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Admission: Free-$7. Henry J. Paulus Park, 200 S. Rand Rd., Lake Zurich.
Other Events During the Extended Weekend
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These events aren’t necessarily celebrating America’s birthday, but you can also enjoy these additional happenings over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
- Family Fun Fridays – Celebrate the USA at Independence Grove in Libertyville (June 30)
- Lincolnshire’s Food Truck Fridays (June 30)
- Free Movie in the Park at Deerpath Park in Vernon Hills (June 30)
- Family Fun Fridays: The Frog Lady at RLBCCC (June 30)
- Lila Downs at Ravinia (July 1)
- VooDoo A Go Go #5, The Final Show at Volo Auto Museum (July 1)
- Kids from Wisconsin Free Independence Day Weekend Concert at RLBCCC (July 1)
- Seventh Annual Chicago Botanic Garden Art Festival (July 1-2)
- The Beach Boys & The Temptations at Ravinia (July 2)
- Tempel Lipizzans Matinee Performance (July 2)
- Ryan Speedo Green at Ravinia (July 3)
- Environmental Graphiti: The Work of Alisa Singer Exhibit at Ryerson Woods (Runs through July 31)
- Bridges of Madison County at Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire (runs through August 13)
- Arts Park in Waukegan (runs through August 11)
For more information about the 2017 Lake County Guide to the Fourth of July, continue here.