Volunteers are key to the city’s 4th of July festivities

Official event programs and posters are printed. Parade participants began placing their chairs and blankets along Central Street on Friday morning. Sack races, egg-throwing and fancy-dress politicians are days away.

However, the city’s first live Fourth of July celebration in three years was not a certainty, said Hillary Bean, director of the parade and vice president of the Evanston Fourth of July Association, the nonprofit, volunteer group that works during throughout the year to set up the event.

The Association had hoped to go live in 2021, but in March of that year, with COVID-19 surfacing again, “things were really risky,” she said in an interview last week.

“By April and May things were starting to open up, but it was too late for us to start anything,” she said. “And this year, things are still, you know, in and out, risky. So we’ve had a bit of a slow start to this year as well. But we are live from 9 am on Monday [July 4].”

Important facts for this year

Here are some other quick things to know about the 4th of July festivities as award-winning events return to live form.

This year’s theme is “Celebrating 100 Years,” which recognizes the Association’s founding in 1922, when parents came together to provide a safe celebration after a child was injured while playing with fireworks.

Paul Wilson, who is an administrator for the city’s Fourth of July Committee, is seen in a Fourth of July parade last, riding in a red car. Credit: Provided by Paulo Wilson

Bruce Baumberger, Paul Wilson and Sam Sibley, long involved with the organization, are this year’s Grand Marshals, said Bean, who is also the program’s book editor.

Baumberger began his more than 50-year tenure at the Evanston Fourth of July Association as Twilight Show Ticket Assistant, President, “when a twilight show and fireworks took place at Dyche Stadium (now Ryan Field)”, according to with a small biographical sketch. in the celebration program.

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