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Area communities plan events to celebrate Independence Day

Fourth of July celebrations for the area include craft shows, watermelon and ice cream eating contests, live music, barbecues and, of course, fireworks. Towns hosting events include Leland, Sandwich, Shabbona, Sheridan and Yorkville.

Each town hosts unique events, creating a one-of-a-kind, family-friendly patriotic celebration.

When Madonna Wheeler took over as president of the Sheridan Community Club four years ago, she wanted to help create a friendly Fourth of July celebration for not only her family, but also for families in the surrounding community.

“I wanted our Fourth of July to be fun for all ages and something the whole family can do together,” Wheeler said. “We’re going to have bounce houses, a petting zoo, a watermelon-eating contest, cruise night and fireworks. We’re going to have a little bit of everything.”

Mary Spring, president of the Leland Town and Country Association, had a similar idea when planning the village’s celebration.

“I didn’t grow up in a small town, and I think that having a parade is one of my favorite parts of the Fourth of July,” Spring said. “In large towns and cities, there are lots of floats, but there are strangers waving. In Leland, you can see your friends, neighbors and people you know on the floats. As a small town, we can have that connection.

“Yes, we will have vendors, a vintage baseball game, live music and fireworks, but I think it’s also important that we remember why we are celebrating and that we remember our independence and country’s history,” she said.

Sandwich Park District Director Sue Swithin said the district’s goal in hosting Fourth of July events is to offer fun activities for families.

“The events are either free or low-cost, because we don’t want it to be expensive, especially for families,” Swithin said. “We host events on the Fourth of July in Sandwich because it’s part of our tradition. We hope everyone comes out and has a good time.”

LELAND

Monday, July 3

5 to 7 p.m. – Steak fry at the Lions Pavilion, $17 in advance or $20 at the door

Tuesday, July 4

9 a.m. – Parade line-up

10 a.m. – Parade starts at Leland School

3 p.m. – Vintage baseball game, Leland 66ers vs. Somonauk Blue Stockings

4 p.m. – Vendors and food trucks will start selling

5 p.m. – Live music by Col. Boyd’s Dixieland Band

7 p.m. – Live music by the Barn Burners

9:15 p.m. – Fireworks

More information: www.ltcaevents.com

SANDWICH

Saturday, July 1

8:30 a.m. – Parade line-up at the Sandwich Fairgrounds

10 a.m. – Parade starts

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – 5 B’s chicken and pork chop barbecue at the Sandwich Fire Station

Noon – Kiddie water fights

1 p.m. – Adult water fights

7p.m. – Firefighter water fights

Sunday, July 2

8 a.m. – Freedom Run 1-mile fun run/walk at James Knights Park

8:30 a.m. – Freedom Run 5K race at James Knights Park

1 to 3 p.m. – Walk Down Memory Lane walking tour hosted by the Sandwich Historical Society

5 p.m. – Main gate opens at the Sandwich Fairgrounds, $5 donation per car appreciated. Concessions available

5:30 p.m. – Vintage baseball game inside the Sandwich Fairgrounds

Dusk – Fireworks

More information: www.sandwichparkdistrict.org/4th-of-july

SHABBONA

Tuesday, July 4

7 to 11 a.m. – All-You-Can-Eat Pancake Breakfast at the Shabbona Fire Station

8 a.m. – Pokanoka’s Trail Run and Walk at Shabbona Lake State Park, all proceeds benefit Safe Passage

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Shabbona Hometown Festival at Purdy’s parking lot, 105 E. Navaho Ave., with vendors, carnival rides, moon walks, inflatable slides, petting zoo, music and games

Noon – Hometown Parade starts at Indian Creek High School

2 p.m. – Ice cream-eating contest sponsored by Screamer’s Ice Cream

4:30 p.m. – Lions Club Drive-Thru Pork Chop Dinner at the Lions Club Depot, $12 for a two-chop meal

Dusk – Fireworks over the lake at Shabbona Lake State Park, $10 a car or campsite recommended donation

More information: www.shecevents.com

SHERIDAN

Monday, July 3

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Robert Lowe Library Book Sale

3 to 8 p.m. – Welcome Burger in the Park with bounce houses, a coloring table, bubbles, vendors, bake sale, raffle, PTO 50/50 raffle and a free showing of “The Lego Batman Movie” with free popcorn and water

Tuesday, July 4

8 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Craft show downtown

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Robert Lowe Library Book Sale

9 a.m. – Silent auction and family activities begin at the Sheridan Fire Department

11 a.m. – Pulled pork, sloppy joe and hot dog barbecue at the Sheridan Fire Department

12:30 p.m. – Parade lineup

2 p.m. – Parade starts

3 to 5 p.m. – Petting zoo and pony rides at the school, $5 each

3 to 6 p.m. – Patriotic Car/Motorcycle Cruise hosted by the American Legion

3 p.m. – Watermelon-eating contest sponsored by the Cadillac Grill at Centennial Park

3 p.m. to dusk – Unlimited bounce houses at the school for $5

Dusk – Fireworks

More information: www.sheridan-il.us

YORKVILLE

Tuesday, July 4

7:30 a.m. – Parade lineup, Yorkville HS

9 a.m. – Parade begins

After the parade until noon – Town Square Activities, including children’s foot races, rides, water fights and a performance by the Yorkville Community Band. Food and drink available for purchase.

8 p.m. – Yorkville Big Band performance at the Larson-Nelson Funeral Home

Dusk – Fireworks shot off near the corner of Route 47 and Countryside Parkway

More information: www.yorkvilleparksandrecreation.com

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