By Josh Bootsma
LANSING, Ill. (June 16, 2021) – Lansing’s night sky will be lit up with fireworks on Saturday, July 3, this year. The Independence Day Eve celebration will be held at Lan-Oak Park, and it is free for the community.
In an effort to keep attendance numbers manageable and safe, the Lan-Oak Park District will be placing a fence around Lan-Oak Park before the event, and allowing patrons to enter the park at one of three entry points. The park will open for fireworks spectators starting at 7:30 p.m.
“Two years ago, we had an overwhelming attendance,” said Lan-Oak Park District Senior Superintendent of Strategy and Operations Sharon Desjardins. “While we did not have any major safety issues, when we saw that much attendance, we felt that could be something that could happen in the future, so we wanted to be proactive and we changed the event a little bit.”
In previous years, the Lan-Oak Park District invited the public to the park earlier in the day for other events, but this year’s Independence Day celebration will be fireworks only. Melrose Pyrotechnics — the same company that operates fireworks displays at Navy Pier and Guaranteed Rate Field — will again operate this year’s display.
Before last year’s fireworks display was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the park district had planned to hold the 2020 display on July 3 as another strategy to help curtail unmanageable attendance. This year’s fireworks will enact the change and move the display from the traditional date of July 4 to July 3.
“We’ve consulted with the Village of Lansing, we’ve consulted with the fire department, we consulted with the police department, and everybody was in agreement that changing this to the third may be more manageable for everyone involved,” Desjardins said.
Desjardins said she’s heard from surrounding park districts and municipalities that having a celebration on the third tends to limit attendance to more local residents, and that a display on the fourth is more likely to draw crowds from out of town.
“That’s not to say others can’t come, we just want to make sure our residents have the room to come if they want to,” Desjardins said.
Do’s and Don’ts
The Lansing Police Department will have officers present at the July 3 event to monitor the crowd, potentially enforce capacity limitations, and ensure only approved items are brought into the park.
The following are encouraged:
- clear bags
- collapsible chairs
- small soft-side coolers
- insect repellant
- rain jacket/poncho
- small umbrellas
- service animals
The following will not be allowed:
- unclear bags
- aerosol spray
- glass or metal containers
- selfie sticks
- laser pointers
- pointed tip umbrellas
- open flames
- inflatables (larger than a basketball)
Masks are encouraged for individuals who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Lan-Oak Park is located at 180th Street and Arcadia Avenue in Lansing. Lan-Oak Park District is located at 2550 178th Street in Lansing.