Where to watch Chicago’s July 3 Fireworks Back on!
2021: Per Block Club the City of Chicago is bringing back the July 3 fireworks instead of the usual Navy Pier display. It will be on July 3 but they’re not disclosing where they will be blowing them off from. The City only said they will be visible from Grand to 55th Street. Equidistantly that would be somewhere around 3000S.
When: Saturday, July 3, 2021 9:30PM
Where: Grand Ave to 55th Street on the Lake
Where to watch Chicago’s July 3 Fireworks Back on! – Prepare for the hordes!
Let me tell you how this used to go. The City of Chicago discontinued the July 3 lakefront fireworks in 2011 (we’re broke) so Navy Pier took over with their display on July 4. That was canceled in 2020. In the past the City July 3 fireworks would be in conjunction with Taste of Chicago. They would blow them off from a barge in Monroe Harbor. At least a half million people would come down to Monroe Harbor and all along the lakefront downtown to watch. People would arrive at 9am and all day long to stake out places to watch with tents, umbrellas, coolers, etc. Then there’s a long slog out when it ends as a sea of humanity all tries to walk home, get to the L, bus, Metra, parking garage.
As a Loop Lakefront resident for decades I would leave work early and lock myself inside until the next day. SO I suspect after this long lockdown and if it’s at Monroe harbor we may see a repeat of all of the above. Check back we’ll know more later.
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Where to watch for free If you want to go for free then you have to head over to the lake early and stake out a spot. Driving and parking will be difficult to impossible so take the CTA or bike around or Divvy. Navy Pier Independence Day Celebration Celebrate the 4th of July in the Miller Lite Beer Garden. The stage will feature rock music all afternoon. 2:00PM – 4:30PM | The PriSSillas
6:30PM – 9:30PM | Midnight Rider
9:30pm – 9:45pm | 4th of July Fireworks presented by Miller Lite 7:00PM-9:30PM | Navy Band Great Lakes Wind Ensemble will perform symphonic band works, patriotic music, Americana, and featured solo vocal and instrumental selections. Lake Stage at Polk Bros. Park Boat and dinner cruises If you’re willing to pay, your options for viewing the fireworks are vast from boat and dinner cruises to reserving a table at a Lakefront beach restaurant to renting a kayak. Alternate dates for fireworks at Navy Pier (less crowds): Other July 4 free events: Fireworks: Navy Pier, July 4, 2019 9:30PM
Here’s where to watch:
- Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand, Navy Pier’s gates will open on July 4th at 10 a.m. You have to arrive early as the Pier will close their gates when it reaches capacity of 120,000 people. In 2018 the gates closed at 7PM. Parking garages were full at 2PM. Navy Pier officially recommends that all visitors even those with tickets to Shakespeare Theater, boats cruises etc. arrive several hours early. Guest advisory.
- There will be offsite parking with Trolley service. You can get updates here. There will be multiple bag checks by security. Coolers, bikes, skateboards, roller blades and skate shoes are not permitted. Guest advisory.
- When the pier closes due to crowd capacity people with advance tickets or official reservations will be directed to a tent located in north Polk Bros Park where they must check in and receive further instructions.
Other locations to watch the fireworks
- Montrose Beach/Montrose Harbor 4400 N Lake Shore Dr, Montrose Avenue and Lake Shore Drive, (312) 742-5121. There’s the people beach, dog beach, park area, the pier and the harbor where you can camp out.
- Diversey Harbor, 2601 N. Cannon Dr., (312) 742-7762. Camp out in the grassy knolls along the Lakefront Trail.
- Theatre on the Lake, 2401 N. Lake Shore Drive at Fullerton, (312) 742-7994. Past the northern end of North Avenue Beach on the Lakefront Trail is the theater and it’s grounds. Adjacent is 5.8 acres of new park land built on landfill at Fullerton.
- Ohio Street Beach, 600 N Lake Shore Dr, Ohio Street and Lake Shore Drive,(312) 742-5121. This smaller beach faces north but is parallel to Navy Pier.
- Oak Street Beach, 1000 N Lake Shore Dr, Oak Street and Lake Shore Drive,(312) 742-5121. This beach is much larger than Ohio Street and you can also camp out in the grassy areas along the Lakefront Trail north of the beach.
- DuSable Harbor, 111 N. Lake Shore Drive, 312-742-3577. Set up along the grassy area adjacent to the Lakefront Trail.
- Monroe Harbor, Monroe Street east of Lake Shore Drive, 312-742-7643. Set up along the grassy area adjacent to the Lakefront Trail.
- Buckingham Fountain, 301 S. Columbus Dr., (312) 742-7529. You’ll want to be on the Lake Shore Drive side of the fountain in the grass along the Lakefront Trail across LSD from the fountain. The “walk” signals across LSD will activate only when a pedestrian pushes the crossing button.
- Shedd Aquarium, 1200 S Lake Shore, 312-939-2438. You can sit on the grassy slopes of the north side of the Shedd.
- Adler Planetarium, 1300 S Lake Shore Dr., 312-922-7827. The official address is Lake Shore Drive but where you want to camp out is on the north side of Solidarity Drive which runs east into the Lake.
- Northerly Island, 1400 S. Linn White Dr., (312) 745-2910. I would only drive there at night and be careful.