Even though the calendar said May 4, it may have seemed like July 4 at Clark Street Beach.

Brightly colored fireworks exploded in the sky around 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, but for those wondering why, the answer was rather simple.

According to an Evanston Police twitter message, the fireworks vendor for this year’s Fourth of July celebration was conducting a test.

Firing the fireworks lasted only about five minutes, but beach access was limited from around 5 p.m. on, to allow time for set-up.

Police and firefighters were on hand.

While setting off fireworks may seem to require the same pyrotechnical skills year after year, this will be the first time since 2019 that Evanston will have an in-person Fourth of July observance with actual fireworks.

The 2020 and 21 celebrations were virtual , with no live fireworks, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

And last year’s entire celebration was cancelled due to the mass shooting at the 4th of July parade in nearby Highland Park.

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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