LAKE FOREST—Fireworks, food, music from the 1980s and ’90s and activities for young children, teens and adults of all ages will be part of Lake Forest’s Fourth of July celebration starting at 5 p.m. July 4 at Deerpath Community Park.
Fireworks are scheduled to start at 9:40 p.m. after an evening of inflatables for the youngsters, football or Frisbee for teens and a variety of food options from bringing a “Ravinia style” picnic to letting Jay Lovell do the cooking while listening to music from two bands.
While there is a charge for the event, those who only want to see the fireworks will be able to enter the park approximately 30 minutes prior to the fireworks without paying.
Rick Amos, the event coordinator for Friends of Lake Forest Parks and Recreation Foundation, which is running the event for the 11th consecutive year, said the entertainment is geared for a variety of people. He said the crowd has ranged between 8,000 and 10,000 the last few years, with weather being an important factor on attendance.
Headliner Lou Gramm, who was the lead singer for The Voice of Foreigner when most of the group’s hits were making the charts between 25 and 35 years ago, wrote most of the songs, according to Amos. He starts playing at 8 p.m.
“The entertainment is designed to offer something for everyone,” said Amos. “Lou Gramm’s music covers what about 60 percent of the grownups listened to in their teens. … He still plays them.”
Music Starts at 6 p.m.
Journey Unauthorized, which begins playing at 6 p.m., also does tunes from the 1980s and ’90s, but Amos said it has an appeal to today’s teenagers. They are familiar with many of the songs from television.
“The young people know the music because of the show ‘Glee,’” said Amos. “The high school kids watched it when they were in junior high. There is something in the music to appeal to everyone.”
The evening is about more than music and fireworks. It is also about a family dinner. Patrons may buy from Lovell or partake of the pizza and ice cream from other vendors. Wine and beer is also for sale. People can also opt for VIP treatment.
General admission is $15 for residents of Lake Forest and Lake Bluff while others pay $20, according to Amos. Parking is an additional $25 for those who do not choose to park in downtown Lake Forest and walk.
A VIP ticket, which cost $75 for an adult and $25 for children, includes food, wine, beer, soft drinks, parking and a good view of the musicians. There is also a family price of $250 which includes two adults and up to four children. Michael’s from Highland Park caters the VIP food and drink. He said approximately 500 people make that choice.
“You get all the food and beverages you want and you are up close to the stage,” said Amos. “You don’t have to worry about parking.”
Amos said people can also bring their own food and spread out for a picnic. Those who elect the do-it-yourself route can also bring wine and beer to the event. He said IDs will be checked and there are some limits.
“If someone brings a wagon with a keg we don’t want that,” Amos said. “If (teens) come in with a water bottle we make them dispose of it and we give them a replacement bottle.
While the music is playing, younger children will be able to play on six to seven inflatables. There will also be an area set aside further from the music for teens.
“There will be room for them to throw a football, baseball or Frisbee or just hang around,” said Amos.
Though the event is not free, all proceeds go to improving the city’s parks, according to Amos. He said it is a major fundraiser for the foundation bringing in more than $50,000 each year.
Tickets can be purchased at the Lake Forest Parks and Recreation office through July 3 or anytime online. Click here to sign up electronically.