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Stars & Stripes in STC: Your Guide to 4th of July

The beautiful summer weather is officially here which means July 4th is right around the corner! There is no better place than St. Charles to celebrate our nation's independence than spending the day with friends and family, doing a bit of grilling, and of course, watching the firework show that will leave you in awe once the sun sets.

Great Western Freedom 4

Photos Courtesy of Lazarus House

Before you start firing up the grill this 4th of July, it's important that you get a bit of exercise in. Join Lazarus House at LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve for their annual Great Western Freedom 4! There are two different races that you can sign up for: a 4 Mile Run and a 2 Mile Walk. These races are an absolute blast - as you'll notice some participants even dress up in their finest 4th of July attire. Plus, it's for a great cause, too! Proceeds from the event will go to benefit Lazarus House and their mission to offer guests that are connected to our community who are homeless or in need, to provide hospitality, food, safe shelter, education and tools for life. On top of that all, there are even awards given for the 4 mile race for first second and third in a variety of age groups!

Pick Your Spot

Before you begin celebrating the day with your friends and family, it's a good idea to make a plan on where you are going to watch the fireworks. The best way to do this is to keep an eye out for a big red balloon that will be displayed above Langum Park around noon on July 4th. If you can see the balloon, you'll know that you will have a great view of the fireworks at dark! According to the St. Charles Park District, some good viewing sites are Langum Park and Mt. St. Mary Park.

Viewing Sites at Langum Park and Mt. St. Mary Park

Let's dive into what's taking place at the spots that are recommended for firework viewing: Langum Park and Mt. St. Mary Park. Langum Park opens bright and early at dawn, and for maximum comfort, you're going to want to bring your own tables and lawn chairs. There will be extra space for seating, as the softball fields and tennis courts will be used as additional spots for firework viewing. While the playground and parking lots will be closed this day, there will still be music from 6:30pm-9:30pm, and Snack Zone Concessions starting at 4pm if you need a quick bite.

Similar to Langum Park, Mt. St. Mary Park will open up right at dawn for foot traffic only (as the parking lot will be closed, aside for a portion of the north lot for handicap accessible parking). It's also best to bring your own tables and lawn chairs so you are comfortable during the music from 6:30pm-9:30pm, and for the firework show. Here, you'll have some different options for food, as Kona Ice, Hippie Gourmet Grilled Cheese Co., and Kissed by Fire BBQ food trucks will be there starting at 4pm. Looking to be as bright as the fireworks? You'll be able to purchase glow accessories from Glow Zone Novelty Sales from 6pm-9pm.

Activities at Boy Scout Island & Ferson Creek Park

Photo 1 Courtesy of the St. Charles Park District

While these parks aren't going to be great viewing spots for the fireworks, there is still a lot you can do during the day - especially if boating is on your agenda. Both Ferson Creek Park and Boy Scout Island will be open from dawn to dusk, with launches open for boats and paddle sports. It's important to note that the boat launch for kayaks and canoes will be closed at Mt. St. Mary Park and at Pottawatomie Park, so these are going to be your best options to get out on the Fox River.

Activities at Pottawatomie Park

Just like Boy Scout Island and Ferson Creek Park, Pottawatomie Park will be open from dawn to dusk. Sure, this may not be the best spot to watch the fireworks, but there is a ton taking place at this renowned park that you and your family can take part in during the day! Both the River View Miniature Golf Course and the Pottawatomie Golf Course will be open if you're looking to play a round. If you're planning on leaving your clubs at home, there is also sand volleyball, bocce ball, bags, and plenty of green space that you can utilize! The kids will absolute love the inclusive playground, sensory garden, and multi-level play area, and with Swanson Pool being open from 10:30am-5pm, you can take a dive to cool off from the July heat. Want to sit back and relax? The Paddlewheel Riverboats will also have departures during the day on the 4th of July!

What's Your Favorite Way to Spend a Summer Holiday in St. Charles?

  • Cooling Off at a Public Pool

  • Getting on the Fox River

  • Indulging in Food & Drinks

  • Enjoying a Friendly Competition

Support Local

Photo 1 Courtesy of Kimmers. Photo 2 Courtesy of Brigette Burgman of Nomadic Soul Photography

Don't forget the significance of supporting local businesses on the 4th of July! Many restaurants, bars, breweries, and other local businesses in town offer delicious food, drinks, and specials to help you celebrate the day. Start your day off right by heading to Brunch Cafe for their special "Red White and Boozy" cocktail! Then swing over to the historic Hotel Baker who will have their waterfront patio open, and will be serving small plates and fantastic drinks on Independence Day, along with some live entertainment for you to enjoy. For sweet treats Kimmer's Red White and Blue Sparkle Cone is a fantastic choice that you, and your kids will love, and Mad Batter Bakery will have festive donuts that are ideal for celebrating the day!

Some establishments, like The Graceful Ordinary, even provide a view of the firework show! Or Duke's Northwoods who will be having both food & drink deals on the 4th of July!

Photo 1 Courtesy of Alter Brewing + Kitchen, Photo 2 Courtesy of D&G Brewing

If you're looking forward to spending some time at the local breweries during the 4th of July, then head to D&G Brewing to compete in their cornhole tournament! Not only are the beverages great, but you'll have a chance to win prizes if your skills are up to par! Then, once you've finished, Alter Brewing + Kitchen is your next stop to try their "Red, Wheat, and Brew Flight" for only $12! If you can't wait for Independence Day to celebrate, Riverlands Brewing is having an Independence Day Party on July 3rd starting at 5pm, where you can indulge in great drinks and Biker Dude Smashburgers!

In search of a new activity this summer? The Dance Lab is running a 4th of July special where you can get one private lesson and one group lesson for only $65! This offer is valid through the end of July. If it's shopping you're after - then you're in luck! Jeans & A Cute Top Shop has extended their "Happiest Top Sale" through July 8th Plus, Boutique Baby will be offering 20% off through July 7th! (Closed on July 4th).

Remember to reach out to these businesses in advance, as their operating hours may differ!

Can't contain all your excitement for this year's fireworks? Take a look below to view dazzling displays from last year's show!

To find more details on the 2024 4th of July in St. Charles, please visit the St. Charles Park District's website by clicking the button below!

STC Live! is now in full swing! If you haven't had the chance to make it out to the 1st Street Plaza or to one of the participating businesses to catch a FREE live music performance, than this is you sign to do so! Click above to find more information about this summer long event, as well as a list of the upcoming performances.


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