How to celebrate the Fourth of July in Oak Park and River Forest

Don't miss out. Parade in the morning. Fireworks at dusk

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By Anna Lothson

Staff Reporter

Parades, cook outs, sparklers and fireworks. Everyone knows the drill; the Fourth of July is here.

The main highlights in Oak Park will be the annual parade in the morning, followed by an evening of fireworks at the football stadium at Oak Park and River Forest High School. Here's a list of items to keep in mind during the holiday:

Parade kickoff: 10 a.m.

The many dimensions of diversity in Oak Park will be on display when the ninth annual July 4th parade steps off at 10 a.m., July 4 from Longfellow Park at Ridgeland Avenue and Adams Street.

The parade will march north on Ridgeland to Augusta Street, turning east to disperse near Whittier Elementary School at Harvey Avenue. The parade will include the award-winning Freedom Marching Band and the Exodus Drum and Bugle Corps. Among the other nearly 50 groups participating will be social and special interest groups, community groups, athletic teams, politicians, businesses, service organizations, children's groups, animal lovers with their pets and musical groups. And did we mention Wednesday Journal with its always popular Twizzlers?

For more information on the parade call (708) 358-5407 or email

Parking restrictions eased over holiday weekend

The overnight parking ban will not be enforced on most Oak Park residential streets over the July 4 holiday. Overnight restrictions will be lifted at 2:30 a.m., Wed., July 3, and resume at 2:30 a.m., Mon., July 8.

Restrictions will remain in effect in overnight permit areas, such as village-owned lots, on-street enclaves and on-street overnight parking zones. All other parking regulations also remain in effect, including all daytime posted restrictions and regulations related to traffic and public safety. For more information call (708) 386-3800 or email

Village Hall closed, garbage pickup delayed

Village Hall, 123 Madison St., will be closed on Thursday, July 4.

Residents needing to get in touch with someone from the village about a parking incident should call the Oak Park police non-emergency number, (708) 386-3800

Refuse, recycling and yard waste collection services will be delayed. Thursday's regular pick-up will be delayed until Friday and Friday's collection will be on Saturday.

Fireworks show

Oak Park will hold its traditional fireworks display, hosted by the Great American Light Show Association (GALA), the local nonprofit group organized to present the annual Independence Day celebration in Oak Park.

GALA includes representatives from the Park District of Oak Park, Community Bank of Oak Park-River Forest, Oak Park and River Forest High School, the Oak Park Police Department and the Oak Park Fire Department.

As it has for the past 14 years, Community Bank of Oak Park-River Forest sponsors the show, and Wednesday Journal sponsors the grand finale.

Fireworks begin at dusk in the football stadium of Oak Park and River Forest High School, near East Avenue and Lake Street. In the event of unfavorable weather, the show will be held July 5.

Email: Twitter: @AnnaLothson

Reader Comments

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Speedway from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: July 5th, 2013 10:37 AM

I agree with you Brad. But we don't know all the facts. Just thinking when I was 14 and my brother would go out and come home at all hours. There was just no stopping him. At 14, kids don't always listen to their parents. Might be a good idea to be less judgmental. The parents have lost more than too much.

Brad from OP  

Posted: July 4th, 2013 9:45 PM

My point is, why was a 14 year old child riding his bike from, get this, KEELER (!) to Oak Park at 1am, That stretch of North Avenue is scary at 8am on a Saturday morning with the windows up and doors locked. I don't understand the lack of parental involvement on this. That is a HELL of a bike ride at 1am for a child.

Jeff from Oak park  

Posted: July 4th, 2013 9:20 PM

OAK PARK POLICE have completely bungled the fireworks. Stadium is closed with at least 300 seats open, if not 500! Have come for years and never seen it this mismanaged.

Len Eisenstein from St. Martinville  

Posted: July 4th, 2013 12:45 AM

Who is that gentleman dressed as Uncle Sam?


Posted: July 3rd, 2013 8:19 PM

i think disabling comments is a violation of free speech and that people should continue the conversation in other threads. What was that kid doing out in the early morning hours anyway? OP has a curfew, right?

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