Fun and fireworks for Winnetka’s Fourth
Updated: July 13, 2012 7:48AM
Winnetka has been celebrating Independence Day in some fashion for the past 125 years, and this year’s festivities on Wednesday promise to live up to that proud tradition.
The holiday will feature family-friendly events, starting at 10 a.m. with the annual parade along Elm Street enroute to The Village Green.
“We really love the parade and look forward to it every year. It is one of our favorite things about Winnetka,” said Liz Berwanger, of the Village Toy Shop. “The park district does the most amazing job.”
The shop will once again have a float in the parade, one of an estimated 50 to 60 entrants. The shop’s float this year will feature wrapped packages with some surprises sure to delight parade-goers. Some kids in costume also will be handing out 6,000 packages of candy.
“Hopefully it won’t be 100 degrees,” said Berwanger, crossing her fingers that this week’s hot spell will pass by the middle of next week.
Parade goers may associate the French Institute of the North Shore and its founder Maria Kurt with the Eiffel Tower replica that she’s pulled along the route for the past 12 years. But this year, she’s spicing things up with some French “can-can” dancers, actually teachers of French from the institute.
Performing groups in the parade will include the Jesse White Tumblers, Jazz Steppers and a bagpipe band.
The festivities will end with a fireworks display set to music at around 9:15 p.m. at Duke Childs Field, at the corner of Willow and Hibbard roads. The pre-fireworks Fourthfest party, also at Duke Childs Field, will start with food and children’s games at 6:30 p.m., followed by a concert by Jin and Tonic at 7 p.m..
“It is really a massive effort that involves the whole town,” said Toby Ross, the Winnetka Park District administrator in charge of the parade and Fourthfest. “It is definitely our biggest event of the year.”
Free bus transportation to and from Duke Childs Field will be provided every 20 to 30 minutes between 6:45 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. from 11 different locations. Buses will follow two routes.
Route 1 will make stops at the Hubbard Woods Train Station, Tower Road Beach upper lot, the village lot near the Winnetka Community House, Lincoln and Elm streets, Elm street and Green Bay Road and the Elm Street post office lot.
Route 2 will make stops at Elder Lane Beach, Winnetka Avenue and Essex, Indian Hill Train Station, the North Shore Country Day School, the Winnetka train station and the Elm Street post office lot.