The annual Fourth of July celebration in DeKalb is synonymous with summer. Families and friends alike have been attending the fireworks at Hopkins Park, at 1403 Sycamore Road, or locations throughout the city for decades as part of their holiday tradition. Bringing their blankets, chairs, and picnics to gather to listen to the Municipal Band perform and enjoy the fireworks, which are co-sponsored by the City of DeKalb and the DeKalb Park District.
“The Fourth of July is more than commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence or our freedom as a nation, it is a big part of memory-making in our community. After a hiatus in 2020 due to COVID-19, the City is excited to work with the Park District to bring these traditions back to DeKalb,” said City Manager, Bill Nicklas.
The holiday will kick off with the annual Independence Day 5K, bright and early at 7:30 am to beat the summer heat. This chip-timed race starts and finishes at Hopkins Park. Results and medals will be administered after the last runner returns, or no later than 10:00 am, and will be distributed electronically. The fee is $25 to participate and includes a race bag with bib, participation medal, and race t-shirt. Register online at dekalbparkdistrict.com or runsignup.com by June 21 to guarantee a race t-shirt or July 1 for race participation. Staff will be accepting on-site race day registration, however, a race bag is not guaranteed. Participants are encouraged to come dressed to support the festivities in red, white, and blue!
“The last year has been challenging for many and we are very excited to host the 5K as a fun and healthy event to kick off the annual 4th of July celebration!” said Recreation Supervisor, Andrea Juricic, who coordinates the annual 5K.
Once the 5K race barricades are cleared, the public is welcome to claim their favorite spot and enjoy a day in the park. There will be on-site DJ entertainment from 3:00-7:00 pm, food vendors from 3:00-9:00 pm outside the Hopkins Park Shelter, and the Municipal Band Concert at the Bandshell from 7:30-9:00 pm. The fireworks start approximately 30 minutes after sunset.
“This year’s holiday means so much more because we can celebrate everything we overcame throughout the last 18 months and I am honored to be celebrating our nation’s birthday with the residents of DeKalb. Speaking with residents and learning about the traditions associated with the event, makes me proud to be working collaboratively with the City of DeKalb to implement this year’s festivities. Staff has been working hard to ensure the event runs smoothly and are excited to see everyone returning to Hopkins Park,” stated Executive Director, John Shea, Jr.
If you are a food vendor and interested in being a part of the event, contact Andrea Juricic, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Staff is also seeking local sponsors to bring some additional fun to the festivities. Interested businesses or organizations may contact Marketing Coordinator, Katie Drum at email@example.com for more details.
For more information about the Independence Day 5K or Fourth of July Fireworks, please visit dekalbparkdistrict.com or call (815) 758-7756.
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