The Fourth of July is coming — and with it comes a ton of fun family-friendly events in and around Champaign-Urbana! This guide will include events including parades, craft days, festivals, fireworks and more. (For your convenience, we’ve made a fireworks-only guide too!)
Star-Spangled Craft: Head to the Champaign Public Library’s Douglass Branch at 3 p.m. and make a craft using red, white and blue stars to celebrate Independence Day. Geared towards school-age kids. Free.
Tolono Fun Day West Side Park. Parade at 11 a.m., fireworks at dusk. Free
Monticello 175th Celebration: Downtown Monticello. Parade at 1 p.m.; walking tours; antique tractors; face painting; live music, stage coach rides, food, Monticello Movie Night and more.
Rantoul: Join the Rantoul Chamber of Commerce for the “best post-race party ever” with the 5K Rockin The Runway 2nd Annual Firecracker Classic at theRantoul National Aviation Center’s Frank Elliott Field. Before and after the race there will be inflatables for the kids, games, food, bands, auto-cross races, a car show, and, of course, fireworks. Admission is $5 per person for ages 14 and over, with runners, walkers and veterans receiving free admission.
Arthur’s Freedom Celebration: The event parade steps off from the Mennonite Church Parking Lot on East Illinois St. at 1 p.m. Craft show, petting zoo, and more downtown. In the early evening, head out to the fairgrounds (Jurgens Park) for food stands, air show and helicopter rides ($20 per person). Finish the day with that fantastic display of pyrotechnics, one of the largest in central Illinois with some of the biggest shells available in the country.
Gussy Up Your Bike: Free! Head to the Urbana Free Library at 11:30 a.m. Get your bike ready for the Fourth of July with streamers and more when you come to Cherry Alley! In the case of rain or excessive heat, meet in the library’s Lewis Auditorium.
Monticello Fireworks: Lodge Park, at dusk. CANCELLED
Fireworks Train: Ride the train from downtown Monticello to watch the fireworks! Bring lawn chairs, blankets and insect repellent. Our concession stand will have sandwiches, snacks and cold soft drinks. $10 for adults and seniors, $8 for children 2-12. Children under 2 ride free with a paying adult.Trains depart at 8:00 p.m. from the Wabash Depot in downtown Monticello. Space is limited.Reservations strongly advised. (We presume this is cancelled as well).
Clark Park parade: This charming neighborhood tradition gets underway at 10 a.m. Deck your bikes, scooters and strollers in red, white and blue. This parade starts at the SE corner of McKinley and Charles, Champaign.
Champaign pool party: Head to Sholem Aquatic Center (11 a.m.- 8 p.m.) on July 4 for festive games and activities throughout the day at both locations, including watermelon eating contest, cannonball contest and trivia games. Regular admission fees apply.
First Annual Fireworks Float: Head to Sholem Aquatic Center at 8 p.m.Catch a glimpse of area fireworks in the skies above the pool, take a relaxing float around the river, grab a hotdog and glow necklace at The Oasis concessions stand, or see what it’s like to ride our slides after dark. Fee: Normal admission rates apply. If you paid to enter earlier in the day, you do not need to pay again for the Fireworks Float as long as you keep your receipt or get a stamp at the ticket office.
Champaign County Freedom Celebration: Parade and Fireworks! More details: Parade starts at 1:05 p.m near First and Kirby in Champaign, and continues east on Kirby/Florida and turns north on Lincoln. The evening program at Dodds Park, near Parkland College in Champaign, includes musical entertainment, food vendors and children’s activities both before and after the fireworks, which start around 9:15 p.m. Admission is FREE; parking a suggested $5 donation.
Freedom Fest, Lake of the Woods Park, Mahomet. The boats open at 12:00 p.m.; food concessions and some family activities start at 3:00 p.m.; Music in Motion begins at 5:00 p.m.; and at 9:00 p.m., after a tribute to our service men and women, we LIGHT UP THE LAKE with a spectacular fireworks display set to music. Admission is $1.00 per person, with children five and under free. (Rain date is July 5.)
Farmer City’s 175th Birthday Celebration: From 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the City Square. Enjoy a VFW Porkchop Fundraiser, Ice Cream Social, Kiddie Parade, Games in the Park, live music.
Bement: Parade at 1 p.m; games and vendors at Forest Preserve following parade until dusk;
fireworks begin at dusk. UPDATE: fireworks cancelled, other activities will go on as scheduled.
Homer Fourth of July Celebration: At Village Park. Events all day including Bike Decorating, Watermelon Eating, Sack Races, Hoola-Hoop, Hobby Horse Races, Water balloon Toss, and Creeper Races at 11 a.m.; 1:00 p.m. Fire Engine Water Ball Fight; 2:00 p.m. Pet Parade Pageant; Parade at 5:30 p.m.; Night events near Village Hall (The “carTunes” Community Summer Band and the “Singin’ in the CAR-us” Community Summer Chorus concert from 7 to 8:30 p.m.; and Fireworks at dusk. Free.
Rantoul: The Chamber of Commerce will present a holiday parade at 10 a.m.; parade route will start at the corner of Maplewood Drive and U.S. 136.
Paxton Old-Fashioned July 4th Celebration: Day of fun events (including children’s parade at 11:30) at Pells Park. Fireworks at dusk at Memorial Field; free.
Tuscola Sparks in the Park: Tuscola’s festivities takes place Friday, July 6 and Saturday, July 7. Friday’s events include a parade, bands and inflatables. A parade kicks off at 5 p.m., going from the corner of Main Street and North Central Avenue and running north on Main, then through Ervin Park.
Cap off the day’s events with fireworks at dusk. Saturday, inflatables, face painting, balloon artist, lots more! UPDATE: fireworks cancelled, other activities will go on as scheduled.
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