Evanston residents are gearing up for traditional Fourth of July celebrations this weekend.

The annual parade down Central Street, a tradition since the 1920s, kicks off at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Independence Day.

Before that, there’ll be sports and games — mostly for kids but some for adults as well — at six park and school sites around town, some starting as early as 8 a.m. A full schedule is available on the Fourth of July Association’s website.

The parade runs on Central Street from Central Park Avenue to Ashland Avenue.

In the evening the Palatine Concert Band performs in Dawes Park at 7:30 p.m. followed by the lakefront fireworks show at 9:15 p.m.

There’s free parking at the Northwestern University parking garage all day and at the city’s Church Street parking garage after 7 p.m.

(Above: These unicyclists were among the roughly 140 groups participating in last year’s parade.)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Volunteers Needed for Fourth of July Parade
    If anyone would be interested in marching in the Evanston Fourth of July parade, the Fourth of July Association could use your help! We need 6 people to march in the parade to carry a number of banners announcing bands and their sponsors.

    Volunteers need to arrive by 1:15pm at Central Park Ave and Central Street. The parade route takes about an hour to walk, and the volunteer will be holding one side of an 8-ft banner with another volunteer on the other side.

    Please email me at dons89@yahoo.com or call me at 847-708-6927.

    Don Souhrada
    Evanston Fourth of July Association

    Make your gift to the Evanston Fourth of July Celebration today!


  2. The unicyclists
    The young women on unicycles are members of the Actors Gymnasium Teen Ensemble. “Learn to Fly.”

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