2012 Chicago-area Fourth of July fireworks displays

Dress your little hipsqueaks in red, white and blue for these area fireworks displays.

Dress your little hipsqueaks in red, white and blue for these area fireworks displays.

Dress your little hipsqueaks in red, white and blue for these area fireworks displays.

Arlington Heights Fireworks
Wed 4 at dusk. Arlington Park Racetrack, 2200 Euclid Ave, Arlington Heights (847-385-7500). $12. 
This post-race fireworks display starts at dusk, but you can arrive anytime after 11:15am—and hurry, the first 10,000 people get free 3D fireworks glasses and 1,000 kids get a free firecracker Popsicle. Horse races start at 3pm.

Evanston 4th of July 
Wed 4 at 9:15pm. Dawes Park, 1700 Sheridan Rd, Evanston. Free.
The Palatine Concert Band pipes out patriotic and popular music from 7:30–9pm. Not close enough to hear the music live? It’s simulcast on 90.5 FM, so pack a portable radio. The focal point of this firework frenzy is at Dawes Park, but Evanston encourages people to park downtown and stake out a viewing spot along the lakefront as well.

Fourth of July Fireworks 
Wed 4 at 9pm. Navy Pier, 600 E Grand Ave. Free.
With the City of Chicago fireworks gone, Navy Pier is Independence Day central. A patriotic soundtrack plays as fireworks erupt overhead.

Glen Ellyn’s Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration
Wed 4 at noon. Lake Ellyn Park, 645 Lenox Rd, Glen Ellyn (630-469-5000). Free. 
Independence Day festivities begin in Glen Ellyn with a parade at noon, carnival games from 1–4pm and fireworks at dusk. The fest also includes extras such as live music and dancing, concessions and face painting.

Itasca’s Fantastic Fireworks Celebration
Wed 4, 4–11pm. Hamilton Lakes Office Campus, Illinois Rt 53 and Thorndale Ave, Itasca (630-773-0835). Parking $20 per car, fireworks free. 
Independence Day goes off with a bang at one of Illinois’s largest fireworks displays. The live music starts at 6pm; fireworks begin to boom around 9:45pm.

Lake Forest Festival & Fireworks
Wed 4, 6–10pm. Deerpath Park, Deerpath Rd at Hastings Rd, Lake Forest (773-868-3010). $15 (Lake Forest/Lake Bluff residents $10), kids 5 and under free. 
Kenny Loggins headlines this suburban fireworks festival this year. Post-performance, watch the skies go boom, boom, dynamite.

Naperville Ribfest Fireworks
Wed 4 at 9:30pm. Knoch Park, 700 S West St, Naperville. Admission to the fest free as of 7:30pm.
This 30-minute display is part of Naperville’s Ribfest, celebrating finger-lickin’ fare from around the country. Fireworks viewing is good from anywhere in the park. Shuttle buses provided to the park; check the website for details.

Skokie Park District Fireworks 
Wed 4, dusk. Niles West High School, 5701 Oakton St, Skokie (847-674-1500). Free. 
This show gets some extra spark with “3-D fireworks.” Special glasses add color to the aerial display, making them pop. Skokie Park District will give away free glasses to the first 10,000 people starting at 5pm; fireworks begin at dusk.


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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)