Oak Park's Fourth of July traditions continue for 2012

Annual parade, fireworks show to offer classic family fun

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By Anna Lothson

Staff Reporter

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.

Email: anna@oakpark.com Twitter: @AnnaLothson

Reader Comments

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Larry Kucharik from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: July 4th, 2012 7:56 AM

A long racist rant by somebody was deleted. Maybe they actually thought about what they were saying and deleted it!


Posted: July 3rd, 2012 11:59 PM

I don't plan on attending the fireworks this year because I don't want my family with young children to experience the potential violence that seems to happen at a lot of these types of events.

Dolores from Westcheter  

Posted: July 3rd, 2012 9:03 PM

I attended last year's fireworks show, I though it was very good, considering I use to attend the big fireworks show in downtown Chicago which has grown extremely over crowded and dangerous. I'm looking forward to the Oak Park fireworks show, depending on where I park can view from my car!

Huh?? from Oak Park  

Posted: July 3rd, 2012 8:24 PM

Mr. French, which of the two comments below yours (judith or ronald) is a "racist diatribe"? Unless something was deleted, neither of these are racist. If you think they are, the problem is with you, not them. But again, if I'm mistaken that's fine but not based on what I see here.

Paul Rubio from Oak Park  

Posted: July 3rd, 2012 5:46 PM

Let's not forget the reason we are celebrating on July 4, because of a document announcing that the Continental Congress had passed a resolution on the independence of America. Long live the United States of America!

Roger French from Oak Park  

Posted: July 3rd, 2012 5:25 PM

keep your racist diatribes to yourself

Judith Warren from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: July 1st, 2012 9:27 PM

A guy got stomped on. The guy who stomped him recently was shot dead at the Oak Park/Austin border.

Ronald Perkins. from Oak Park  

Posted: June 30th, 2012 4:44 PM

I sure hope nobody gets shot again this year. Was it a shooting or a stabbing last year?

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