Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Tuesday, April 16

Gapers Block

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Brenda / June 30, 2004 2:27 PM

It's really hard to beat Grant Park's show on July 3. Other than the mosh pit of spectators downtown--before, during and after--it's the best in town.

My personal preference is to pack some food and my portable radio and watch the same show from the lake shore near Diversey harbor.

Andrew / June 30, 2004 2:35 PM

There's this little tennis and pony club at Foster and Sheridan (how this thing managed to survive in the heart of Uptown, I don't know) that puts on a show for its members every 4th -- and, of course, the rest of the neighborhood benefits, too. It's not the flashiest display by any stretch of the imagination but it's competant, and it's nice to be able to sit in Lincoln Park and watch a professional fireworks show without the crushing crowds.

The best place to watch the 'works, though, has got to be from the balcony of a highrise. You can see literally every show from here to the horizon.

Carly / June 30, 2004 2:43 PM

I'd have to say Venetian Night.

I went for the first time last year and had a great view along the lake. We didn't have to get their super early, and the crowd seemed smaller and more contained compared to the Taste of Chicago masses.

Plus, it's kind of nice that they're NOT on the 4th of July.

Benjy / June 30, 2004 3:21 PM

The ones shot off every time the White Sox hit a homerun!

anne / June 30, 2004 4:00 PM

I sat with some friends (and a ton of other hopeful folks) on the grassy area on the shore by Fullerton, right by the Theater on the Lake last year, and we could only see about a third of the highest fireworks. I'm going to be out of town this year, but I've heard that if you can find a friend with a boat, it's worth it to see them from the water. Guess I'll find out in 2005.

Yo / June 30, 2004 4:05 PM

I know y'all aren't so partial to the suburbs but I have to say Oak Park's Fireworks are quite good. Having been to the city of Chicago fireworks several times, I can honestly say that Oak Park's are bigger, better, and longer. Plus there aren't as many people and you have a great seat in the OPRF High School stadium. Plus since Oak Park is easily accessible via the Green Line and bordering the city it's less like a suburb than other suburbs.
Also- watching downtown's fireworks from promentary point in Hyde Park is fun. As is shooting off illeagal fireworks in the alley.

Maureen / June 30, 2004 5:01 PM

It's been a few years since I've gone, but I think the Lombard fireworks are always good (and there are neighbors who do what is a surely illegal pre-show display). Not as crowded and with less drunks than those downtown, and you can go to the Lilac Fest or whatever it is beforehand (again, less crowded than the Taste).

Craig / June 30, 2004 5:51 PM

Last year we (along with many others) set up camp on the Northwestern penninsula to watch the downtown fireworks. They were okay-- a tad small-- but it was neat to watch them over the skyline... Then Wilmette fired up their pyrotechnics and everyone turned their blankets a complete 180. Turned out to be one of the longest fireworks display I have ever seen!

amyc / June 30, 2004 10:19 PM

A few years ago, I watched fireworks from my uncle's apartment in Arlington Heights. Fifteen floors up, with flat ol' Illinois spreading out in all directions and nothing blocking our view, we could see the displays from about 12 different towns. I think watching them one at a time now would be a huge let-down.

Lyle From Lisle / June 30, 2004 11:02 PM

What about good old-fashioned "jamming your fists against your eyes till you see streaks of colors." That show's available on demand every day of the year . . .

paul / July 1, 2004 7:16 AM

Evanston has the best best suburban show, hands down.

The best place to watch is from the Northwestern Promentory. Grab a seat early on the rocks facing south and you'll see the Navy Pier show simultaneously. Otherwise get there early and set-up a blanket and bbq anywhere along the lake.

Vit / July 1, 2004 9:19 AM

I once watched the fireworks display from a gutted out floor near the top of the Aon center (I guess the company that was to take it went under at the beginning of the remodeling process) with a friend and a couple of security guards, looking down at the Chicago fireworks is a bit of a treat.

Rachelle / July 1, 2004 12:18 PM

Until this year, I lived at Chicago and Western in an apartment with a rooftop deck. Every Fourth, even strangers would jump the fence and join us on the roof to watch 360 degrees of fireworks. You could the see the downtown fireworks, fireworks from neighborhood parks and from about five of the suburbs, and scads of huge illegal fireworks. They would last for hours, and everybody'd just spin and spin around. It was beautiful. Maybe I'll crash the party this year.

Shylo / July 1, 2004 2:25 PM

Evanston has a good show.

'That Ian' / July 2, 2004 10:27 PM

Shylo is right, Evanston it is! Get there early for all the festivities though cos even Evanston fills up mighty quick...

Chris / September 11, 2004 6:43 PM

Lakemoor has by far the best fireworks in illinois!!!!!

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