Show of Fourth: Residents flock to area festivities for the first time in two years to celebrate the holidays


Less than a month after Illinois authorities reopened after more than a year of COVID-19 restrictions, area residents have gathered in droves to celebrate the quintessential summer vacation: the 4 July.

Joy, spirit and community were everywhere in the parks and walks along the North Shore, including Wilmette, Glencoe and Winnetka throughout the July 4th weekend.


Josephine Herzog, 1, flies high thanks to her uncle, Aric Herzog, both of Chicago, at Wilmette’s celebration on Saturday, July 3. | Rhonda Holcomb / The Record North Shore

Independence Day celebrations kicked off with a bang in Wilmette as thousands of locals attended the festivities at Gillson Park.

The Wilmette Park District Fun and Fireworks event has regained importance after being canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event kicked off at 4 p.m. on Saturday July 3, with music and shows. But the main event of the evening began at 9:30 p.m. when attendees watched in wonder and amazement at the fireworks display – one of the few along the shore during the holiday weekend, as so many communities have postponed their fireworks.

The group Final Say performs at Wilmette’s Independence Day celebration on Saturday July 3. | Rhonda Holcomb / The Record North Shore

A fun 5K run kicked off the holiday fun in Wilmette on July 3rd.

A local favorite and a timeless classic also returned to Winnetka as the Village July 4th Parade passed through town. The parade on Elm Street started at 10 a.m. and ended along Cedar Street.

Parade performances included the New Trier dance team and the Jesse White Tumblers.

The guest of honor was Glenn L. Felner, a World War II veteran, who served as Grand Marshal of the parade. Winnetka officials said the event “would provide parade participants an opportunity to recognize the bravery, leadership and patriotism of Mr. Felner for his participation in what has been called America’s’ greatest battle in the world. war ”.

Grand Marshal Glenn L. Felner tips his hat on the 4th of July Winnetka Parade on Sunday. | Rob Lange / The Record North Shore.

Felner, a native of Chicago, enlisted in the military after high school, according to a press release from the village of Winnetka. Felner served as a technical corporal for the 271st Regiment, 69th Infantry, Seventh Army Division.

Felner fought in the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes region of Belgium.

He received several military distinctions for “his heroic activities, notably the combat infantry badge, the American bronze star and the decoration of the French Legion of Honor”.

Glencoe was full of July 4th fun as locals enjoyed a day packed with activities.

Events kicked off at 8 a.m. with a fun three-kilometer Rotary run. Young people and families participated in festive games in the late morning and early afternoon before the main window: the parade in the town center of the village.

Children compete for the bragging rights of the hula-hoop during the Glencoe festivities. | Rob Lange / The Record North Shore

Neighbors and community groups marched through downtown Glencoe, starting near Central School and down Vernon Avenue, ending at the Village Hall.

Glencoe Beach was open to season pass holders from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the fourth. A group of steel drums played on the sand from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for the enjoyment of beach goers.

Family fun was also plentiful in Northfield when the Park District hosted activities on July 4th. A family event at Willow Park that started at 11 am kicked off the day. The festivities included inflatable games, races, a bicycle decorating contest, and a food and beer tent.

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