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To-DosLetter - 4th of July!

Stephanie! Just hangin' around!






Happy Fourth of July!


The Independence Day weekend is a little tough because, other than a couple of festivals and a couple of parties, most folks either BBQ or go to BBQs and don't invite me.  If you, too, are BBQ-less, or if you want To-Do something different, we've got some great suggestions in this To-DosLetter!

Fireworks at Navy PierTaste of Chicago continues through Sunday, July 3rd!  Eat all you want, but the only fireworks you'll see will be those launched from Navy Pier!  Yes, the fireworks, along with the final Monday of The Taste, fell victim to City budget cuts.  A moment of silence, please.

Navy Pier - Catch the fireworks shows on July 2nd at 10:15pm and July 4th at 9pm!  Get into the thick of it by venturing out to Navy Pier, or view the display from La Rabida, Promontory Point, Grant Park or elsewhere along the lakefront! For a really cool viewing option, spend some time with the Musicians Network MECCA regular Monday evening set at the Museum Shore Yacht Club. On The Fourth, the performance will be a Tribute to P-Funk! It's free, beautiful, laid back w/ great music and food and drinks available for purchase - or bring your own! Get the details and see the photos in Sun Spots: Mondays w/ Musician’s Network MECCA!

Balloon Glow Balloon Glow

Lisle Eyes to the Skies Festival is only about 26 miles from the loop.  From July 1-3, hot air balloons will launched at 6am and 6pm.  Tethered balloon rides are  first come, first served ($25 per person)!  At 8pm, the “Balloon Glow” fireworks will be launched – and it will surely be a magical sight!  There's a fireworks show nightly, but the major show is on Sunday at 9:45pm and will be timed to a musical score!  Let’s hope they get those balloons back on the ground in time, otherwise it’s gonna be quite a display!

Naperville Rib Fest runs from July 1 - 4 and with Styx on Friday and REO Speedwagon on Saturday you can't possibly go wrong!  (And I know you know what I'm talkin' 'bout, so don't front!)  Naperville Rib Fest boasts having a musically choreographed fireworks display that rivals Chicago's and is about 30 minutes long!  Decide for yourself on July 4th, 9:30pm!


On Monday, the Chicago History Musuem has the whole family covered with Happy Fourth of July!  I like this one because it focuses on the reason for the holiday instead of the fireworks.   But, it also includes a children’s costume parade led by the World’s Tallest Uncle Sam! Free(!) admission to all outdoor activities.

Mackinaw Fireworks Mackinaw Fireworks

July 4th Fireworks & Mackinaw Inc. Waterfront Events is perfect for a quick getaway and change of pace!  It's a bit of a drive, but once you get there it'll be well worth the trip!  Bicycle around the town and enjoy live music, parks, beaches, shopping, restaurants and children's activities.  Take a ferry to Mackinac Island and see what it has to offer!  The drive is about 7 hours, so plan on staying local or stop for the night along the way!  Free!  (Well . . . except gas, hotel, food, drink . . . )

International Festival of Life – Washington Park is ready for its first summer festival, so get on out there and enjoy live reggae, calypso, African and gospel music.  There will be the usual assortment of food, vendors and, probably, the carpet-cleaning man!  Get there early because the price goes up after 5pm!

Other seasonal To-Dos in the suburbs and beyond:

  • City of Aurora Independence Day Parade and Fireworks  - July 4 fireworks - 20-25 minute display.  Donations requested. Parking is tight, but shuttle buses are available.

  • <a href="'s Fantastic Fireworks - Ample parking and room to spread your blanket out to watch this 20-25 minute display on July 3!

  • Saugatuck-Douglas 4th of July Celebration - This is going to be really cool with a small town vibe!  It's about 2 1/2 hours away on the shores of Michigan with a small town feel.  You'll find live music, a waterfront invitational art fair, walking tours, Segway tours, bike, modped, kayak and canoe rentals, art exhibit openings, sailboat charters and - FIREWORKS!

There's plenty more To-Do, so whatever you decide To-Do, make it a fabulous weekend!


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