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Fireworks 2012

Want to know where to go for the best Chicago-area fireworks? We size up the area’s explosions.

Photograph: Chandler West
By Christopher James Palafox |

Glen Ellyn’s Fourth of July Fireworks
This western suburb traces its pyrotechnic display all the way back to 1889. Today, fireworks are accompanied by cardboard-boat races and BBQ prepared by local firefighters. Lake Ellyn Park, 645 Lenox Rd, Glen Ellyn (630-858-2462). Wed 4 at dusk; free.
Budget about $20,000

Itasca’s Fantastic Fireworks
Hamilton Lakes in Itasca hosts what may be the ’burbs’ largest fireworks show. Pay for it in the form of $20 parking. Hamilton Lakes Office Campus, Park Blvd at Thorndale Ave, Itasca (630-773-0835). Wed 4 at 9:30pm; free.
Budget about $25,000

Rockford Fourth of July
For more than 30 minutes, 4,218 fireworks shells explode to synchronized music. Davis Park, 320 S Wyman St, Rockford. Wed 4 at 9:30pm; $6.
Budget about $60,000

Naperville Ribfest Fireworks
Head down to this 25-minute pyrotechnic display early to avoid being locked out when the park reaches capacity, as it’s done in the last few years. Knoch Park, 724 S West St, Naperville. Tue 3 at 9:30pm; $15, advance $10.
Budget about $63,000