Independence Day 2012

English: Fireworks on the Fourth of July

Fireworks on the Fourth of July (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since I did this last year (and had a LOT of hits), I thought I should once again compile a list of towns that are having fireworks in the Chicagoland area. Please note that I have not verified all of these, but rather combined a bunch of site’s info into this list. The most up-to-date version is here (It’s a lot simpler to update just one list, than 2). If you happen to run across a town’s display that I haven’t posted yet, please comment below with a link to where you found that information. Also, if I’ve found that a town is having a festival during the holiday, I’ll hyperlink the website to the town. Have a happy & safe 4th of July!

Antioch – July 4 @ @ dusk @ Williams Park

Arlington Heights – July 4 @ dusk @ Arlington Park Race Track
The amazing fireworks display, which will run more than 30 minutes, will be synchronized to a mixture of patriotic and popular music, and will encompass the entire infield area of the racecourse. Check out the video of last year’s fireworks show! The first 10,000 in attendance will receive 3D Fireworks Glasses, and the first 1,000 kids will receive a complimentary Firecracker Popsicle.

Aurora – July 4 @ dusk @ Hamlin Park

Barrington – July 4 @ dusk @ Barrington High School

Bartlett – July 4 @ 9:30 pm @ Apple Orchard Park
Music on 98.1 FM

Batavia – July 4 @ 9:30 pm @ Enstrom Park

Bensenville – July 4 @ 9:30 pm @ Redmond Recreational Complex

Buffalo Grove – July 4 @ 9:15 pm @ Rotary Village Green

Burlington – July 3. Rain date is July 6.

Carol Stream – July 4 @ 9:30 pm @ Ross Ferraro Town Center

Carpentersville – June 30 @ dusk @ Meadowdale Park

Cary July 3 @ Lions Park
Park opens at 6:30 pm; Band performs at 7:30 pm; Fireworks to follow!
Food & beverages will be sold onsite
Parking $5 (grass) / $10 (pavement)
Rain date for fireworks is July 6

Chicago – June 30 @ 10:15 pm @ Navy Pier

Chicago – July 4 @ dusk @ U.S. Cellular Field (after White Sox game)

Chicago – July 4 @ 9:00 pm @ Navy Pier

Chicago – July 7 @ 10:15 pm @ Navy Pier

Crystal Lake – July 1 @ dusk @ Crystal Lake Main Beach

Deerfield – July 3 # 9:15 pm @ Brickyards Park

Downers Grove – July 4 @ 9:30 pm @ 75th St & Lemont Rd.

Dundee Township – June 30 @ 9:30 pm @ Meadowdale Park/Shopping Center, Carpentersville
Join us for a night of music and fireworks! Following our concert in the park the firework show will begin at approximately 9:30 pm, weather permitting.


Evanston – July 4 @ 9:15 pm @ Clark Street Beach

Forest Park – July 4 @ 9:35 pm @ Deerpath Community Park

Fox Lake – July 7 @dusk @ over the Chain O’ Lakes, Fox Lake

Fox River Grove – July 7 @ dusk @ Picnic Grove Park
No entry to the park after 9 p.m. and no parking at the park. Shuttle bus service will be available.

Geneva – June 29 @ dusk @ Fifth Third Bank Ballpark (after Cougar game)

Geneva – June 30 @ dusk @ Fifth Third Bank Ballpark (after Cougar game)

Geneva – July 4 @ dusk @ Fifth Third Bank Ballpark (after Cougar game)

Geneva – July 5 @ dusk @ Fifth Third Bank Ballpark (after Cougar game)

Geneva – July 6 @ dusk @ Fifth Third Bank Ballpark (after Cougar game)

Glen Ellyn – July 4 @ dusk @ Lake Ellyn

Glendale Heights – July 11 & July 15 @ dusk @ Camera Park

Glenview – July 4 following the concert that starts at 7:30 pm @ Glenview Park

Grayslake – June 30 @ Central Park @ 9 pm
In conjunction with the Central Park fireworks show, the Aquatic Center stays open an additional two hours to give customers the opportunity to watch the fireworks as they swim in the pool or picnic on the lawn. With its location right next to Central Park, the Aquatic Center makes the perfect spot to watch the show!

Great Lakes Naval Base

Hawthorn Woods – July 3 @ dusk @ Hawthorn Woods Community Park

Highland Park – July 4 @ the Velodrome

Hoffman Estates – July 4 @ 9:30 pm @ Sears Centre Arena


Island Lake

Itasca – July 4 @ dusk @ Hamilton Lakes
Free admission; parking costs $20


Lake Bluff

Lake Forest – July 4 @ 9:35 pm @ Deerpath Community Park

Lake Zurich – July 4 @ 9:15 pm @ Paulus Park

Leyden Township

Libertyville – July 4 @ dusk @ Butler Lake


Lisle – June 29 @ 9:45 pm, June 30 @ 9:45 pm & July 1 @ 9:45 pm
July 1st will be presented and timed with a musical score.
Fireworks will launched north of the hot air balloon field.

Lombard – July 4 @ 9:30 pm @ Madison Meadow Park
with music simulcast on 101.5 FM

McHenry – July 3 @ Peterson Park
Rain date July 5th.


Morton Grove – July 4 @ 9:30 pm @ Harrer Park
Rain date is July 5.

Mt. Prospect – July 4 @ dusk @ Melas Park

Mt. Prospect – July 8 @ dusk @ Melas Park

Mundelein – July 4 @ 9:30 pm @ Kracklauer Park

Naperville – July 3 @ 9:30 pm @ Knoch Park
Free Public Access Entry time will be 7:30pm. One of the largest most magnificent displays in the Chicago land area, it runs for almost 30 minutes straight and is sure to wow the most fervent fireworks aficionados. The works begin July 3rd at 9:30 and are simulcast with music and broadcasted on FM 95.9 The River.

Oak Brook – July 3 @ dusk @ the Village of Oak Brook Polo Grounds
Rain date for the fireworks display is July 4th.

Oak Brook Terrace – July 4 @ 9:15 pm @ Terrace View Park

Oak Forest – June 28 @ dusk @ 159th & Central

Oak Forest – July 4 @ dusk @ 159th & Central

Oak Lawn – July 4 @ dusk @ Richards High School

Orland Hills – June 30 @ 9:30 pm @ Kelly Park

Orland Park – July 4 @ 9:15 pm @ Centennial Park

Palatine – July 3 @ 9:20 pm

Palos Heights – July 3 @ 9:15 pm @ Lake Katherine

Park Ridge – July 3 @ Maine East High School

Pingree Grove – July 7 @ 9:30 pm

Rolling Meadows – July 4 @dusk @ Salt Creek Park

Round Lake – July 4 @ 9:30 pm @ Round Lake Beach Cultural and Civic Center Rescheduled to 9/2/12

Schaumburg – July 6 @ dusk @ Boomers Stadium (after Boomers game)

Skokie – July 4 @ dusk @ Niles West High School

Sleepy Hollow – July 4 @ 9 pm @ Sabatino Park
$5 donation to park for fireworks. Rain date July 7.

South Elgin

Spring Grove

St. Charles – July 4 @ dark @ Pottawatomie Park
Rain date is the next suitable evening.

Sugar Grove

Tinley Park – July 4 @ 9:15 pm @ McCarthy Park

Vernon Hills

The Village of Hawthorn Woods

Vernon Hills – July 4 @ 9:30 pm @ Century Park

Warrenville – July 4 @ 9:15 pm @ Cerny Park

WaucondaJuly 3 @ dusk @ Cook Park Cancelled on 6/29

Waukegan – July 4 @ dusk @ Silver Park

West Chicago – July 14 @ dusk @ Reed-Keppler Park

Westmont – July 4 @ dusk @ Ty Warner Park

Wheaton – July 3 @ dusk @ Graf Park

Wilmette – July 3 @ 9:30 pm @ Gillson Park

Wonder Lake

Woodstock – July 4 @ dusk @ Emricson Park




Posted by on June 6, 2012 in blog


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Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I LOVE sweepstakes. I guess it comes from my Dad, as he was a big sweepstakes fanatic too…though he hardly won anything. Thanks to the internet and Facebook, there are a TON of opportunities available, including this one that you can enter for free gas for a year! Enter today!

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Posted by on April 30, 2012 in blog, Day-to-Day, sweepstakes


Kutless’ new album, Believer, part 2

It’s been a while, but I did want to post a few more of the songs that are on Kutless’ newest album. One of the songs that I REALLY got into around Easter was the 9th track, entitled ‘This is Love’. As you can see from the lyrics below, this encompasses the last two days of Christ’s life, as well as his death and Resurrection. Take a listen!

Alone in a garden weeping
Begging His Father pleading
Take this cup from me
But if it’s Your will Father let it be
All of the others sleeping
Sweat on His brow was bleeding
He could have run away but He chose to stay

This is Love this is real
This is more than a hope or a feeling
It’s enough to cover us
This is Love

After a kiss abandoned
Beaten and cursed for passion
They lifted Him up to die but He laid down His life
Death only wished it was stronger
The grave couldn’t hold Him longer
He rose in victory to rescue His enemies

It seems like this mercy is following me
It seems like this love has come to rescue me

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Posted by on April 29, 2012 in blog


Our journey towards a good night’s sleep, part 2

A full week after beginning this journey toward what we hoped would be a better night’s sleep, we’re not much closer to finding the solution for us. We are, however, sure that the ‘My Pillow’ pillows aren’t for us.

I started out on the ‘My Pillow’ the night they arrived. They are a bit strange in how they arrive (see picture from previous post) and instruct us to put the pillow in the dryer for 15 minutes to allow it to expand fully…which it did. While appearing fluffy, it felt anything but. In fact, to me, it felt like I was sleeping on stacked, folded jeans (denim)…firm and I guess supportive, but not very soft. I had a very difficult time getting to sleep the week that I used it and woke up SEVERAL times during the night. I was drowsy most of the day due to lack of continuous sleep. I also noticed that my neck was stiffer in the morning too. I stopped using it after 7 nights of attempts.

Wifester attempted to use her pillow a few days after I started (remember, I had the green and she had the yellow due to her being a stomach sleeper). Her theory being that she wanted to start something new on a weekend and not during the work week. I can respect that. Unfortunately for her, she couldn’t get through one night before she HAD to switch back to her old pillow(s). She tried the night after to see if it was a fluke…no fluke…same thing happened. Since then, she hasn’t used it.

The only beneficial thing is that ‘My Pillow’ has a 60 day money back guarantee…something I will attempt to take advantage of and report back on how smoothly that process takes. Since the pillows came in one box tightly wrapped, I imagine getting them back in that box will take some doing.

As for the bed topper, it’s still airing out. The smell did linger for a few days after we opened it up fully. We hope to take off the winter flannel sheets today and before putting on the cotton sheets, lay down the bed topper. I’m a tad concerned about which way to lay it down (bumpy side up or down?), but I guess if one way isn’t feeling good, we can just as easily swap it. Stay tuned!!

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Posted by on April 21, 2012 in Day-to-Day, wifester


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Our journey towards a good night’s sleep

Sleep…much easier to type than to achieve!! The last few years, wifester & I have debated about purchasing a new bed so that we could get some much needed rest. We’ve tossed one name around quite a bit: Comfortaire. Similar to Sleep Number, Comfortaire is a mattress that’s adjustable by an air pump. The similarities between the two are great, but what drives me bonkers about these two companies is that neither one has all of their models available to test out before you buy. Comfortaire is, by far, the worst because they don’t have stores that you can visit to test their beds, unlike Sleep Number. Instead, there are specialty bed stores that have one or two of their models (though they’re called something totally different than their website) on display. Highly confusing…and expensive too.

So, instead of buying a whole new bed system, I’ve tried to go another route and I want to chronicle this with this post (in other words, I may update this post as things change in the future). My first decision was to purchase a new frame/boxspring, which basically functions as a platform. The thinking behind this purchase is that a new foundation would make our current mattress feel brand new (some reviews had said that this had happened to them). Also, if we did decide to purchase a Comfortaire mattress, we’d only purchase the mattress, as we’d have a “platform” foundation.

2/19/12 – Purchased the bed frame. Told that we were to get it between 2/29 & 3/2.
2/25/12 – Received an email that our order has been delayed. New delivery estimate is between 3/9 & 3/13.
3/2/12 – Contacted Target guest services to see where my purchase was. They replied shortly afterwards:

I’m sorry for the inconvenience caused to you. I need a little more time to find the answer to your question. I’ll e-mail you with an update when I have more information.

7 hours later, I received an email that it had been shipped!
3/8/12 – Finally delivered!!.
3/11/12 – Took apart our old frame and boxspring and assembled the new platform.

After a few nights, we were loving the new frame. It made a LOT less noise when we moved in bed. Unfortunately, it didn’t do a whole lot to help with our back/neck/head pain. Knowing that this might be a possibility, I had a backup plan…a bed topper. For some reason though, it took me a while to pull the trigger on purchasing it. I had one in mind that has a lot of good reviews, but it wasn’t until late 4/9/12 that I went ahead and purchased it. I also was curious about and decided to also purchase pillows for the both of us from an infomercial I had seen the week before…

4/9/12 – Purchased 2 King size “My Pillow” pillows (“yellow” for wifester, and “green” for me).
4/9/12 – Purchased King size bed topper
4/10/12 – Pillows shipped, scheduled to arrive 4/12/12.
4/10/12 – Bed topper shipped, scheduled to arrive 4/12/12.

I came home on 4/12/12 and saw these packages waiting for me!

I was immediately surprised at the box the pillows came in…after all, there were supposed to be 2 King size pillows in this package! My curiosity got the better of me and I opened the package right away.

Reading the above instructions, I unwrapped the plastic off the pillows and threw them in the dryer for 15 minutes (one at a time). I pulled them out and was floored at how much the pillow had expanded. I guess the guy on the infomercial was right…you can wash & dry this pillow and it won’t lose it’s fluff!!

While the pillows were in the dryer, I took a look at the mattress topper. I had read reviews previous to purchasing it that it would smell…bad enough to sit out for a few days before using it. I feared the worse but hoped for the best.

Once I got all the plastic off, I could smell it…and BOY did it REEK!!! And now I had a problem…we were scheduled to have guests over at the house the next night and I had this King size smelly piece of foam lying in my living room. There was absolutely no way we were putting it on our bed….not when it was THIS smelly!! So I did what any other person would do…brought it down to the basement to air out.

Currently, I have been using the “My Pillow” for 3 nights. Wifester has yet to try using the “My Pillow”. The mattress topper is still in the basement. Though the smell has gone down, it’s still present (it also feels somewhat moist to the touch). My guess is that we’ll put the topper on next weekend (if not before) and test it out…if I can figure out if the egg-crate side is face up or face down on the mattress. Does anyone know? Leave me a comment!!

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Posted by on April 15, 2012 in blog, Day-to-Day, family, wifester


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Embedding CNN videos in WordPress

In a recent post, I had issues embedding a CNN video clip into the body of the post. I’ve been able to embed YouTube & Vimeo clip rather easily. So I did a lot of digging and found a page in which the author was able to embed video from CNN!! I asked him to post the html of the link and he provided it to me as:

I then attempted to just replace my url from the link that CNN gives you into the formula above…but that didn’t work (by the way, there is a space after “cnnvideo” and the rest of the code). Then I realized, that the single quotes before and after the url should be double quotes. I also noticed that CNN’s link that they give you, doesn’t have the “www” in the url. Making these changes to the code, it now works!! CNN clips are viewable in WordPress!!!

Case in point…here you go!!



Posted by on March 19, 2012 in blog


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Kutless’ new album, Believer, part 1

Over the past few years, I’ve grown to really love the music from a band called Kutless. Before them, I would listen to a mix of the Newsboys, David Crowder Band, dcTalk, Audio Adrenaline and a few others that really didn’t make it past their first album. Kutless caught my attention with a song called ‘Sea of Faces’ when I heard it on KLove. I liked it enough to buy their album and was a bit surprised at how aggressive their music…and their lyrics…are. I bought the rest of the albums that they made previously and experienced their progression. These guys are simply amazing.

Of course, each subsequent album I’ve been all over them as they’ve been released…even the praise & worship albums, which, in my opinion, are the best available. While they don’t add much lyrically to the p & w albums, they give their unique spin on the music that makes it pure Kutless.

At the end of February, their newest album (can I still call it an album?) ‘Believer’ was released. Wow…what a SOLID album!! It’s been my experience that a given album might have 12 or so total tracks and maybe 3 or 4 are really good tracks (of course, the artists who sing these tracks will probably disagree). Not the case with this album!! From the first track (‘If it ends today’) to the last track (current radio single ‘Carry me to the cross’), I find myself wanting to repeat just about every track because I just can’t get enough!!


So that you can experience what I’m talking about, I’ll let you listen to a few of the tracks, over a few posts. Here’s the 1st track, ‘If it ends today’

Seems like the end is coming
Seems like the signs are lining up
As far as I can see
We’re closer now than ever
This pain won’t last forever
Love love is on His way
So stand up the time is now to lift up your head

Raise your hands if you’re with me
Raise your hands if your ready
Say hey! hey! I’m not afraid
Hey! hey! hey! If it ends today

There’s hope on our horizon
Let it be the sound that’s rising up
It’s rising up
We could be the generation
To shout out to every nation
Love love is on His way


Get ready, are you ready? (I’m ready!) get ready
Raise your hands if you’re with me
Raise your hands come on and say
Hey! hey! I’m not afraid
Hey! hey! hey! if it ends today

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Posted by on March 18, 2012 in Day-to-Day, Music