Fourth of July Events Guide

Between BBQs, boat cruises and boozin' it up, being American has never been so much fun.

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Jari Kivel�
You can't do the Fourth of July without fireworks. Click here to check out our list of shows around the area.
For some of the best views of the Fourth of July fireworks, hop on one of the Navy Pier cruise lines. Shoreline, Odyssey, Spirit Cruises, and Mystic Blue, Sea Dog are all offering cruises.
Chicago Sport and Social
Castaways cranks their beach side dining experience up with DJ jem spinning the beats and a live KissFM radio broadcast. Celebrate the holiday -- and the day off work -- with margaritas, daiquiris and cold brews.
Rockit Bar and Grill
The Chicago History Museum hosts its 54th annual Fourth of July celebration. Festivities include patriotic musical performances, a reading of the Declaration of Independence and a children’s costume parade led by the World’s Tallest Uncle Sam. 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Free admission to the outdoor event and free museum admission to Illinois residents all day.
Katie Karpowicz
Naperville Ribfest promises to be lip-smackingly good this year, scheduled for July 3-7 in Knoch Park. Musical guests this year include Styx, Slash, Rick Springfield and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Kick off the weekend early on Wednesday night with Grant Park Music Festival's Independence Eve Celebration featuring the Grant Park Orchestra in Millenium Park. 6:30 p.m.
If it's dancing you're looking for during the holiday weekend look no further than the African Caribbean International Festival of Life held July 4-7th in Union Park. It's four days of reggae, calypso, gospel, African and other styles of music will fill the park, along with food and crafts.
Pack a picnic basket and head over to the Ravinia Festival on July Fourth to check out Matchbox 20 and the Goo Goo Dolls.
Meredith Gregory
The event dubbed the "Woodstock of House Music" goes down July 6th in Jackson Park. Up to 30,000 people traditionally flock to the South Side for the 23rd annual Chosen Few Old School Reunion Picnic featuring the legendary Chosen Few™ DJs.
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Spend your Fourth at the horse track. Arlington Park Race Course offers a full day of racing followed by a 30-minute fireworks display at dusk. Family activities and live music will be offered throughout the day.
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Rockit Bar and Grill is getting in on the Fourth of July festivities a little early on Wednesday night with a live performance from South of 80 and $5 Yacht Club Vodka Cocktails.
Brian Schilling
Epic restaurant hosts a pre-Independence Day soiree on their rooftop lounge Wednesday night until midnight.
Chris Shields
Start the party early and head over to the Shedd Aquarium on Wednesday night for the monthly Jazzin' At The Shedd party, a live concert set to the beat of one of the most beautiful sunset views in the city. Stay after the sun goes down to enjoy drinks with friends and watch the weekly fireworks display. 6-10pm, Shedd Aquarium (1200 S Lake Shore Dr.)
One the most picturesque -- and booty-shaking-esque -- festivals of the summer goes down July 5-7 at Montrose Beach. Wavefront Musical Festival is back for its sophomore turn, with an impressive lineup of EDM DJs and kids swinging neon glow sticks.
Not to be outdone by Naperville, Chicago hosts its own meat market this weekend. Windy City Ribfest hits Uptown July 5-7 with up to 10 rib aficiandos competing for top honors. Best part is, your stomach gets to judge.
Lakeview promises to be hoppin' with two adjoining festivals -- Rock Around the Block and Taste of Lakeview. The street festival includes live music, arts and crafts, food and vendor booths, family activities and street performers on July 6-7.
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