4th of July Parade
The Northbrook 4th of July Committee, comprised of staff members from the Village of Northbrook and the Northbrook Park District, has been presenting 4th of July activities for the Northbrook community for the past ten years.
Yes, and this will be a transition year. We all know, many traditional 4th of July activities were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021. This was followed by 2022 when an unplanned suspension of all activities in the middle of the day happened as our police officers and firefighter/paramedic quickly transitioned from parade support to responding to a call for mutual aid to the tragic shooting in Highland Park.
As such, we are transitioning as the Village implements a strong public safety lens in all planning/preparation for this year so that we have enjoyable and well attended celebrations on the 4th.
The parade route is being changed this year due to construction on the Cherry Lane underpass, just west of Cedar Lane. This year the route will be slightly reduced from a 1 mile route to a 0.7 mile route. The new route will start just west of Westmoor School, 2500 Cherry Lane, and will end at Village Hall, 1225 Cedar Lane.
The parade time is being changed this year to a late afternoon start time of 4 p.m. The bike parade will lead the main parade as both are back-to-back this year. This decision was necessary to allow for Northbrook to staff both the parade and fireworks with required number of police officers, firefighter/paramedics and public works personnel as well as general village employees and park district employees. In the past, fewer employees were spread out to provide coverage over an 18 hour plus day. This year, more resources are needed at particular times and this required the duration of events on a single day to be compressed.
Village staff will be staging parking restriction signage and materials for the parade and fireworks starting June 29. These no parking zones are designed to allow emergency vehicle access in the event of an emergency at these events. While the signs might be placed prior to the events, these parking restrictions will only be enforced for July 4 activities.
The Northbrook Park District Liberty Loop 5K Run/Walk and Liberty Lap Fun Run continue this year on a new date, Saturday, July 1 from 7:30 – 9:00 AM. Participants will enjoy a scenic run or walk on a certified 5K course through Techny Prairie Park and Fields and Meadowhill Park. Winners receive medals and pre-registered participants receive a dry-fit T-shirt, gift bag and post-race snacks. Children 5 and under can run/walk at no charge but need to be registered. Children ages 4 through 10 are invited to register for the Liberty Lap Fun Run, a shorter one mile course through the Trail Through Time. Registration is currently open for both events at nbparks.org and race day registration will be offered from 6:15 – 7:15 AM on Saturday, July 1 inside Techny Prairie Activity Center, 180 Anets Drive. For more information, call 847-291-2993.
The Rotary Club of Northbrook has decided not to conduct the Pancake Breakfast this year due to a number of factors including the significant resources needed to put on a large scale activity such as the breakfast, available volunteers and the expense of the event in a year with uncertain public participation. They are hopeful to return in the next year.
The Village’s first responders have always enjoyed the festivities of the softball game. However, this year, personnel resources have been focused on the new public safety needs at the parade and fireworks. As a result, the softball game will not take place.
At this time, we believe that 2023 is a transition year for our celebration of the 4th of July. We do not yet know what changes are temporary as we approach the one-year mark of the Highland Park shooting and what changes must be incorporated permanently as we strive to create a safe community celebration. We will continue to make public safety a key element of celebrating America’s birthday with our neighbors and the support of our many community partners.