Oak Park dogs won’t have to cower under beds this Fourth of July as there will be no loud bangs and pops to frighten them. The village will not be hosting its fireworks display this year, which will surely get some tails wagging, even if it may disappoint Oak Park’s human residents. There is still, however, a parade to look forward to.
The Independence Day parade begins at 10 a.m., July 4, at Longfellow Park, marching north on Ridgeland Avenue from Adams to Augusta Street. It will then disperse near Whittier Elementary School.
The Oak Park parade took place last year, but the village’s 2022 fireworks display was canceled in the immediate aftermath of the mass shooting that took place during the Fourth of July Parade in north suburban Highland Park.
Historically, the Oak Park fireworks have been funded by local businesses and other community organizations. Last year, an anonymous donor footed the expense of the show, which was rescheduled for December and became a holiday-themed drone light display. It was the wish of the donor to have the funds utilized before the end of that year, according to village officials.
No such donor, anonymous or otherwise, stepped up this year to pay for a Fourth of July fireworks show, but that is not the only factor currently at play. Even if a donor should come forward, the village would likely not have enough time to coordinate such an event.
There is also not an area to safely set off fireworks this year. Traditionally, the rockets and Catherine wheels are detonated on the grounds of Oak Park and River Forest High School. Due to the ongoing renovation of the athletic fields at the school and across Lake Street at Ridgeland Common, the space normally utilized for fireworks is currently unavailable.