July 4th this year is expected to end with the “boom” of fireworks.
But it began with the “whoosh” of frisbees.
Several children pulled back their arms and let the plastic discs fly at Evanston Township High School, as part of the “Morning Games” segment of the city’s Fourth of July Celebration.
Similar events, including running races, pie-eating contests, and other kids’ competitions took place at six other locations around town.
Actually, the playground games did take place last year, but the horrific mass shooting in Highland Park forced cancellation of Evanston’s parade and fireworks later on the 4th.
Miriam Peterson was at ETHS this year with daughters Miriam (age 8) and Rose (age 6).
“I thought of last year this morning,” Peterson told Evanston Now.
She’s glad Evanston is able to rebound, both from illness and from tragedy.
2020 and 2021 saw the parade and fireworks cancelled due to COVID. And then, what was going to be the 100th anniversary celebration in 2022 was cancelled at the last minute due to the Highland Park shooting.
So the 100th anniversary observance is now this year — games, a fun run, the parade, a band concert, and the fireworks.
“Honestly, ” Peterson said, “I’m grateful for community in hard times and good times. Evanston is a community that’s together.”
“Besides,” she noted, “who can argue with cheering your kids in an egg toss?”
As for those kids, Miriam was not exactly looking forward to the nighttime pyrotechnic display.
“I don’t like fireworks,” she said. “They keep me awake. I like eating in my backyard” instead.
But, Miriam does like running. She zoomed through the 25-yard dash at the ETHS games, having fun with other kids on a day when children should not have to think about frightening diseases and even more frightening gunfire.
There’s no better return to normal than what was seen this morning, and what is expected on the rest of the 4th.