By Anna Lothson
The Fourth of July fireworks show Oak Parkers count on every year isn't going to be much different than past years, and that's OK — some traditions don't need changing.
The annual show put on by the Great American Light Show Association, a local non-profit group that includes representatives from the Park District of Oak Park; Community Bank Oak Park River Forest; Oak Park and River Forest High School; the Oak Park Police Department and the Oak Park Fire Department, kicks off at dusk on Wednesday, July 4, at OPRF, 201 N. Scoville Ave.
Ruth McLaren, senior vice president of Community Bank, the long-time presenting sponsor, said it's one of the bank's signature events of the year.
"[Oak Park] always puts on a really good show," she said. "It's a lot longer than a lot of show's we've seen. It's a fun family event."
What's unique about the show is that it's put on through a collaborative effort between multiple groups in the community. Despite the cost of fireworks raising about 10 percent each year, McLaren said the group has kept up the same quality show.
This is the thirteenth consecutive year the bank has sponsored the event. And as it has been for many years, the grand finale is underwritten by Wednesday Journal.
"It's just a really nice partnership with everybody," she said. "We're really pleased with it. It's important to keep up every year."
The annual Fourth of July parade will step off at 10 a.m. from Longfellow Park at Ridgeland Avenue and Adams Street. It will march north on Ridgeland toward Augusta and turn east before ending at Whittier Elementary School.