Saturday night ended with a spectacular fireworks show at Chicago’s Navy Pier, with thousands of families gathering to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
“We always watch the fireworks out there in Elgin, Illinois so like, today we were trying to see them down here at Navy Pier,” said Jesus Barraza.
He is celebrating with his girlfriend. Both watching fireworks for the first time at Navy Pier.
“I’m pretty excited,” he said. “We got the front row to like the view. I’m pretty excited!”
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Katie O’Brien and her family spent the afternoon walking around downtown and said its her first time back at Navy Pier in a very long time.
“I haven’t been out in Chicago that much lately because of COVID and the restrictions,” she said. “But it’s nice being back usually we come out a lot during the summer so it’s nice being here again.”
With every major event downtown safety is a top priority for police.
“I feel very safe,” said Lizzie O’Brien. “Like the whole time I’ve been here I haven’t been around anything that I don’t feel safe.”
Visitors at Navy Pier had to go through a security checkpoint before entering Saturday evening. The popular tourist attraction expects tens of thousands of visitors over the course of the holiday weekend.
“One of the things that we do have is security at all of our entrances,” said Navy Pier spokesperson Felicia Bolton. “We’re checking bags, we’re wanding people. You’ve seen officers, CPD, Homeland Security and so many different agencies out here just to make sure everyone is secure.”
The Fourth of July celebration marks a special time for Patrice King visiting from Texas and so many others post COVID.
“I’m feeling we’re on the other side of COVID,” said King. “It’s a new freedom to get out and enjoy each other and celebrate our nation’s independence.”
The fireworks show lasted for approximately 10 minutes. Navy Pier said this year’s show has 50% more shelling meaning there was more volume and bigger fireworks.