Forest Park has St. Pat’s covered. River Forest marks Memorial Day. But Oak Park knows how to throw a 4th of July. From the Independence Day Parade up Ridgeland Avenue in the morning to the fireworks at the high school stadium at dusk, Oak Park will celebrate the determination of our founders to create a nation of freedom and diversity.

Thanks to the village government’s Community Relations Commission for organizing the parade. This is pure Americana, from the marching band to the marching librarians, from Twizzlers to Tootsie Rolls.

Come evening, Community Bank of Oak Park-River Forest pays the freight for what has become one of the great area fireworks shows. This year, the bank promises 1,381 shells will be launched into the night sky to draw the oohs and aahhs of a crowd pegged at 25,000. Nearly half of those shells will be tossed during the Grand Finale, underwritten again this year by Wednesday Journal. Be there.

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