2013 Champaign-Urbana Metro Fourth of July Activity Guide

Thank you to the University of Illinois Employees Credit Union for sponsoring our 2013 Fourth of July guides! The University of Illinois Employees Credit Union is excited to have the Champaign County Freedom Celebration Fireworks return to its neighborhood. Head down First Street in Champaign, stop in and see what the UIECU has to offer your family! Champaign-Urbana area Fourth of July Fun Guide

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!)

June 29:

Kids create a patriotic hat for Independence Day while a caregiver shops. Join us on Saturday, June 29, from 10-11:30am, for a 4th of July hat craft event. Just $2 per 30-minute session – including supplies. Ages 3 and up are welcome to this event. Michaels, 2109 N Prospect Ave, Champaign

Tolono Fun Day West Side Park. Parade at 11 a.m., fireworks at dusk. Free

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.

Gifford Community Celebration: Parade at 11 a.m.; community patriotic cantata at 6 p.m.; Fireworks at dusk.

July 3:

Rantoul: The Freedom Celebration starts at 5:30 p.m. Activities for the kids include giant inflatables, a Kid Zone, and laser tag.  The Raminator will be there to give kids rides in a real monster  truck!  There will be plenty of music with the Cover 4 band kicking off the night followed by the Black N Blue Band for a night of country, classics, and all your favorites!  For all the runners and walkers out there, our annual Rockin’ the Runway 5k will begin at 7:00 p.m.  Finish the night off with a front row seat to some of the best fireworks in the area!   Admission is $5 per person for ages 15 and over, with runners, walkers and veterans receiving free admission. Kids are free, but the Kid Zone admission will be $1.

Monticello Fireworks: Lodge Park, at dusk; there will also be a model airplane show. 

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.

July 4:University of Illinois Employees Credit Union

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.

One Nation Under God Independence Day Parade: Children (of all ages!) dressed in patriotic costumes and clothing will walk or ride in decorated strollers, wagons, and tricycles through the halls of the Champaign County Nursing Home in Urbana to hand out American flags and share smiles with residents. Children may bring cards or other gifts to share with nursing home residents but please remember that NO food, candy, or gum of any kind can be distributed due to dietary restrictions. Christians will have an opportunity to be “Jesus with skin on” to the secluded residents of the nursing home by providing them with their very own Independence Day Parade. SCHEDULE OF EVENTS: 9:00 am: Registration to have costumes and wagons/strollers judged and other children’s activities. 10:00 am: Parade steps off inside the nursing home! For more information contact: Henry Miller 217-637-4357

Prairie Fields Children’s Parade: Join the neighbors of Prairie Fields subdivision in Savoy for its annual 4th of July Children’s Parade. We will leave the Prairie Fields Park parking lot at 9:00 a.m. and parade the neighborhood. Prizes will be awarded to the best decorated bikes, tricycles, wagons, strollers, wheelchairs and power wheels! Parents are encouraged to decorate their bikes and ride with their children.

Champaign pool party: Head to Sholem Aquatic Center (10 a.m.- 10 p.m.) on July 4 for festive games and activities throughout the day at both locations, including facepainting, free ice cream and watermelon eating contest, cannonball contest and trivia games. Regular admission fees apply.

Night 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 as long as you keep your receipt or get a stamp at the ticket office.

Champaign County Freedom Celebration: Parade, 5K,  Fireworks! More details: Day starts with the 5K and Kids Run (no charge, no t-shirt). Kids run is 8:30; 5K is 9:05 a.m. Parade starts at 11:05 a.m. (new time!) near First and Kirby in Champaign, and continues east on Kirby/Florida and turns north on Lincoln. The evening program makes a return to the area surrounding Memorial Stadium and the State Farm Center (Assembly Hall). There will be musical entertainment, food vendors and children’s activities both before and after the fireworks. Entertainment starts at 7 p.m.; fireworks will launch around 9:15 p.m. Admission and parking are free, but donations are requested.

Champaign County Freedom Celebration parade bike decorating contest:  For kids ages 5-14 beginning at 10:15 in the State Farm Center (Assembly Hall) Parking lot. C-U Safe Routes to School Project will supply free crafts for kids to decorate their bikes. Safety information and helmet fittings will also be available. At 10:45 judges will award prizes to the ‘Best Decorated Bicycles’ in three age categories. Kids are welcome to ride in the parade with C-U SRTS Project and Champaign County Bikes if they are accompanied by an adult.

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.)

Bement: Parade at 1 p.m; games and vendors at Forest Preserve following parade until dusk; fireworks begin at dusk. 

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 starting at 11 a.m.; a bags tournament, and more. Parade at 5:30 p.m.;  Food vendors at Village Hall after the parade. Fireworks at dusk. Free.

Rantoul: The Chamber of Commerce will present a holiday parade at 9:30 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  starting at  9 a.m. Highlights include the children’s parade at 11:30 a.m.; Uncle Sam and Betsy Ross will also make an appearance at noon; from noon to 3 p.m., there will be family games offered. All events at Pells Park. Fireworks at dusk at Memorial Field; free.

July 5

Farmer City Raceway: Fan Appreciation Night and Fireworks. General admission, $5; kids 12 and under free. Gates open at 3 p.m. Racing starts at 6:30.

July 6

Tuscola Sparks in the Park: Tuscola’s festivities takes place Saturday, July 6 opening with a pancake breakfast. Kids activities start at 10 a.m.  The parade kicks off at 11:30 a.m., going from the corner of Main Street and North Central Avenue and running north on Main, then through Ervin Park. Free pool party at 2 p.m. The Hennigsens will play at 8 p.m. Cap off the day’s events with fireworks at dusk.

Made in USA Concert: The Urbana Pops Urbana Pops Orchestra’s concert “Made in the U.S.A.” features music from American composers. It will be held on Saturday, July 6 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium at Urbana High School. There is no charge to attend thanks to a City of Urbana Arts Grant. Urbana Pops Orchestra is affiliated with the Urbana Park District and Urbana School District #116. For more information,

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