The non-profit group that runs Evanston’s 4th of July events says it needs a lot of green to keep honoring the red, white and blue.
In a flyer sent to Evaston residents, the Evanston 4th of July Association asks for donations to help make the 2023 parade a reality.
In the mailing, the associations president, Tracy Alden, notes that the 2022 mass shooting at the Highland Park parade forced last-minute cancellation of the Evanston activities.
However, Alden says, “All paid units in the [Evanston] parade and the fireworks vendor were paid to honor our contracts,” leaving the association financially in the red.
The group is asking the community for contributions, for both the 2023 parade and related events, and also for “restoration of our endowment to provide sound financial footing for our next century of service to Evanston.”
But the problem is more than just money. The COVID-19 pandemic meant there were only virtual celebrations in 2020 and 2021, and, Alden notes, “the lack of a traditional celebration during the past three years has … decimated our volunteer team.”
So the group is asking for Evanstonians to sign up to help plan and work the parade, fireworks, sporting activities, and concerts.
“While it may seem the celebration occurs annually on auto pilot,” Alden says, “a well-managed group of volunteers is needed.”
The 2022 parade was going to represent the Association’s 100th anniversary.
The 4th of July parade and related events are all put on by the Association without government financial assistance.
Before 1979, ticket sales to a fireworks show at the Northwestern football stadium covered the costs.
Since then, all the activities have been free, with the fireworks show moved to the lakefront, and with public donations picking up the tab.
“Your support,” the flyer states,” is more important than ever to ensure the future of this very special community event.”
More information,= is available on the association website.