The parade is not until Monday, but Evanstonians are saving the good spots.

Think of it as the warm weather version of “dibs,” the Chicago custom of putting out chairs to reserve a street parking space once a roadway is cleared of snow.

In Evanston, however, “dibs” takes place in time for the 4th of July parade, as loyal locals line Central Street with chairs and blankets several days in advance of Independence Day.

The idea, of course, is to get the best vantage point, with apologies to Barbra Streisand, before the parade passes by.

And this year, there actually will be a parade on Monday, unlike the past two Fourths when the events were virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Actually, the Fourth will see a full day of festivities, starting with kids and family activities at 9 a.m., all the way through a lakefront fireworks show at 9:30 p.m.

The parade itself starts at 2 p.m. Monday at the intersection of Central Park Avenue and Central Street, and proceeds down Central Street to Ryan Field

The celebration also marks the 100th anniversary of the Evanston Fourth of July Association, the non-profit organization which puts on the celebration, without any government funding.

The group, originally called the North Evanston Fourth of July Association, was formed after a child was injured in a fireworks accident.

According to an official program from that era, the “Patriotic Education Committee of the North Evanston Mothers Club” organized the first celebration as a way of providing safe and enjoyable Indpendence Day activities.

For more information on the various July 4 events around town, go to evanston4th.org.

And please, move your chairs once the parade is finished. Take “dibs” on a backyard picnic spot.

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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