Bring out your star-spangled spirit this July 3!

The Wilmette Park District is hosting our annual Independence Day Celebration at Gillson Park.

Yankee Doodle Dash 5K

Sunday, July 3

  • Race Start: 8 A.M.
  • Location: Gillson Park & the streets of WIlmette
***REGISTRATION IS CLOSED! There will not be any day-of registration for this event.

Download a PDF of the race route HERE.

Special Appreciation

  • We'd like to thank our Stars & Stripes Sponsor, de Giulio Kitchen Design for sponsoring our dashing event shirts this year!
  • Special thanks to our Spangled Sponsor, State Farm Agent Nathan Sulack for sponsoring our dandy participant & winner medals this year!
  • Shoutout to Ravinia Brewing Co., Double Clutch Brewing Co. & Fortnight Brewing Co. for providing complimentary beer at the finish line! Make sure to grab your drink tickets at the ID check table before or after the race.
  • Run your hardest to beat the rush - breakfast bites for the first 100 runners, brought to you by Wilmette's newest restaurant, The Lawn opening soon at the Wilmette Golf Club!


Fun & Fireworks

Sunday, July 3

FREE Family Event
Location: Gillson Park

Enjoy an evening packed with Independence Day Celebration at Gillson Park! We'll have food vendors, live music, performers and a fireworks show to kick off your 4th a day early.


Download a PDF of the event map HERE!

Event Schedule:

  • 5 P.M. - Music Performance: Blooze Brothers
  • 7 P.M. - Jesse White Tumblers (between concerts)
  • 7:30 P.M. - Music Performance: Good Clean Fun
  • 9:30 P.M. - Fireworks

Getting There:

Please note, there is no Pace Bus shuttle available to/from the event. There is limited parking available at Gillson Beach parking lot - please plan ahead and know your route!

The traffic map below shows temporary road closures and the direction that traffic must follow to reach the park for dropping off/picking up visitors during the Fun & Fireworks event. Please take note of the following:

  • Additional street closures and directional traffic changes to improve safe pedestrian access to Gillson Park
  • Free Public Parking available at:
    • Metra lot (approx. 1.3 miles)
    • Northwestern University Ryan Field football stadium parking lot (approx. 1 mile)
  • Additional handicap parking in Gillson Beach parking lot
  • Ride share drop off and pick up zones along Michigan Ave.

Click HERE to download a PDF of the traffic map.

Lakefront Closures on July 3:

  • Dog Beach will be closed on Sunday, July 3. A temporary fence will be installed on Saturday, July 2 in preparation for the fireworks safety zone. There will be openings within the fence for visitors to have access through Saturday.
  • Langdon Park will be closed on Sunday, July 3.
  • Elmwood Dunes will be closed on Sunday, July 3.