Celebrate Independence Day by the sea with parades, fresh fare, contests, and activities that will keep you entertained from morning to fireworks.
Some 4 million Chicagoans and visitors will gather on the 50 acres of shoreline and promenade that make up historic Navy Pier. The Pier combines fireworks over Lake Michigan with a festival vibe: The waterfront Pier Park includes a musical carousel and—of course—warm, sugary fried dough.
Celebrate all day: Free live music, street entertainers, shopping, and two sandy beaches are within walking distance of the Pier.
Showtime: At 9:30 p.m., the display is synchronized to music.
Best view: See the show from the 200-foot Ferris Wheel ($15 per adult). If you have a crowd, Dock Street is the place to be.
After the show: Grab a burger at the Miller Lite Beer Garden;