Above / Enjoy professionally displayed fireworks. Remember, backyard fireworks are illegal in Illinois. Be mindful of essential fire safety tips before, during and after Independence Day. Thanks!

UPDATE! After second threat of storm and evacuation of Knoch Park, Naperville Independence Day Fireworks at Ribfest are canceled, now scheduled for Thurs., July 5, weather permitting.

Thanks to all for cooperation. Be safe.

Alert! For 2018, Naperville Fireworks hosted by Ribfest and sponsored by Meijer will begin at dusk on the 4th of July. Spectators can tune into 95.9. 

Knoch Park, July 3, 2017.

Happy Birthday, America!

Celebrate Independence Day by leaving fireworks to the professionals!  

For 2018, Naperville Fireworks hosted by Ribfest, the City of Naperville and the Naperville Park District are sponsored by Meijer to begin at dusk on July 4. Spectators can tune into 95.9 The River to hear a musical simulcast. Celebrate safely.

Ribfest Fireworks

Knoch Park (PN File Photo)

As is tradition, the Exchange Club of Naperville, City of Naperville and the Naperville Park District have teamed up to present the annual Independence Day Fireworks, a spectacular colorful display that bursts into the sky just after dusk at 9:30PM, in conjunction with Ribfest, on July 4-7.

Note that the 2018 Independence Day celebration will be on July 4, offering free public admission to the South Park of Ribfest beginning at 5PM Wed., July 4, in Knoch Park, in plenty of time for a barbecue dinner and live music before the fireworks begin.

Live music on the North Park Stage begins at 2PM with the Pete Ellman Brass Quintet Big Band, followed at 3:30PM by the Buckinghams, then at 5:30PM Melissa Estheride and at 7:30PM, Stray Cats.

Nearly 30-minutes of fireworks presented by Meijer, a display well known throughout the Chicagoland area and rivaled by few, again will be simulcast with patriotic music and broadcast on the radio. Tune in to the playlist that will be featured at 95.9-The River.

Note that the rain date for the fireworks is not listed at this time.

Other places to view Naperville Fireworks

Since the fireworks originate from the West Street Garden Plot parking lot, many locations in addition to Ribfest at Knoch Park provide local residents with places to gather throughout the city to view the colorful fireworks, always set to some of America’s most inspirational music on the radio.

Prime locations to watch the professionally-presented Naperville Fireworks include blocked off and designated portions all along West Street.

Large crowds usually gather at:

  • Hobson West Shopping Center (75th Street at Rickert Road)
  • May Watts Park Sled Hill (820 S. Whispering Hills)
  • Gartner Park (524 W. Gartner Road)
  • Van Buren Parking Deck (Van Buren at Main streets)
  • Chicago Avenue Parking Deck (Chicago at Washington)
  • The Yellow Box Parking Lot (Rickert at Ogden)
  • Good Shepherd Church Parking Lot (1310 Shepherd Drive just south of 75th St.)
  • Central Park Benches (104 E. Benton)
  • Lawn between Meson Sabika and Our Saints Academy (Aurora Ave. east of River Road)

Also, enjoy the fireworks at many other local parks, open spaces and neighborhood backyards in close proximity to downtown Naperville.

Note that the view from the base of Rotary Hill (where the first Ribfest was held!) comes with some sight limitations.

If you have a tough time sitting still while you wait, another fun way to watch the fireworks is to stroll along West Street, beginning near Hobson Ponds on Naperville-Plainfield Road with the first big boom at 9:30PM. Simply walk along the sidewalk toward Knoch Park.

Whatever the plan, grab a blanket and/or portable chairs along with your radio and be prepared for the cheers of “oohs” and “ahhhs” to celebrate America’s independence at Ribfest and on the 4th of July throughout Chicagoland.

Stay tuned to the station where you can set your radio and sing along.  Tune radios to music that will be simulcast at 95.9 The River.  God bless, America!

Fireworks in Knoch Park (PN File Photo)

…Another Local Fireworks Display 

For a decade, another tradition is for fireworks to blast over the White Eagle subdivision just after dusk in conjunction with Independence Day. Several years ago readers wondered where the magnificent display originated, lighting up the skies on another evening. (For 2018, the display was set for June 30.)

If you look toward southwest Naperville and the area of the White Eagle Golf Club on the designated evening, you’ll experience another professionally-orchestrated celebration of America’s birthday, sponsored by the White Eagle homeowners.

Help prevent wildfires! Leave all fireworks displays to the professionals. Thank you.

RELATED PN POSTS SAVED IN ARCHIVELegal & Illegal Fireworks in Illinois / Celebrate safely! / Ribfest (Always note dates/years on stories saved in PN’s archive in the cloud.)

Consider some wise words from Tom Wehrli…

“Folks! As we get closer to the Fourth of July weekend, let’s all keep in mind all of the Vets and Pets that surround us everyday. Your backyard fireworks are illegal and it is against the law to have them. Most importantly, please give all of our Veterans, many having PTSD symptoms and the reason you have the holiday off, the respect they deserve by keeping it a quiet weekend for them.

“The same with you or your neighbors’ pets. They hear noise at 100 times louder then you and most are deathly afraid of all the noise.

“Lastly, if you are one of those that doesn’t care, save them for the 4th, not June 27 through July 8. Our great local law enforcement officials have enough to worry about then follow up all of your neighbors complaints.

“Thank you,” said Tom Wehrli. “Again, respect the Vets and the Pets!”

2018 Ribfest is July 4-7 in Knoch Park

Regular readers of this website likely are well aware that the Exchange Club of Naperville Ribfest runs for four days in conjunction with Independence Day in Knoch Park. 

For 2018, admission at the gate for full access to both north and south parks will vary by day, depending on featured entertainment on the Main Stage. Find advance ticket sales available every day for pick up at Will Call.

Full Access Wednesday

Full Access Thursday

Full Access Friday

Full Access Saturday

Note $5 admission to the South Park all day, every day.

Children 11 and under always are free of charge when accompanied by an adult.  Free admission to all in the South Park after 5PM until closing on Wed., July 4. Enjoy the spectacular fireworks at dusk.

Find award-winning ribbers in the South Park from July 4-7.

Thanks for supporting this barbecue festival and concert venue, an important fundraiser that benefits more than 50 social service agencies that provide programs to help prevent domestic violence. For 31 years, this fundraiser has been about the kids. And the weather is important, too!

Happy Independence Day!

Thanks for reading and remembering the thoughtful reasons why this nation’s Founders signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776.


Above / In the spirit of Americanism, find the Freedom Shrine with many historical documents, including the Declaration of Independence, located behind the Naperville Municipal Center in clear view every day, just up the steps from the September 11 Memorial along the Riverwalk. 

God bless America!

P.S. Thanks for leaving the fireworks to the professionals. Spectacular displays are promised throughout the suburbs. Thanks, too, to local residents who suggested some of their favorite displays and places to watch fireworks hosted by Ribfest, the City of Naperville and the Naperville Park District, and sponsored by Meijer.

Here’s a view/link of the 2015 Independence Day Fireworks from Knoch Park and the Exchange Club of Naperville Ribfest.

Exchange Club of Naperville and Ribfest

Meet Curly HAMilton, Ribfest’s mascot introduced in 2017 at Naperville Bank & Trust.

Volunteer run and mission driven, for 31 years the Exchange Club of Naperville has welcomed volunteers to assist in making Ribfest the premier outdoor summer festival in the area.

Last year the Exchange Club welcomed Curly HAMilton, a friendly new character with lots of fun-loving energy that likely will ignite squeals and hamming it up again in 2018, especially in the Family Fun Area.

The Exchange Club of Naperville was chartered in 1987 and is dedicated to the elimination of child abuse and domestic violence in all forms. Through financial contributions to more than 50 local charities, the Exchange Club has raised more than $16 million from its service activities at Ribfest.

Cheers to the red, white & blue in other communities, too.

Independence Day fireworks light the skies nearby…

Lisle at 9:45PM, July 1, 2018, Eyes to the Skies, Lisle Community Park, Short Street.

Aurora at 9:30PM, RiverEdge Park, 360 N. Broadway St.

Batavia at 9:30PM, watch from Engstrom Park, 326 Millview Dr.

Downers Grove/Woodridge at 9:30PM, Zigfield Troy Golf, 75th Street & Lemont Rd, Downers Grove.

Glen Ellyn at dusk, Lake Ellyn, 645 Lenox Rd.

Lombard  at 9:30PM, Madison Meadow Park, 600 E. Madison St.

St. Charles at dusk, Pottawatomie Park, 8 North Ave.

Warrenville 9:15PM, Cerny Park, 3S258 Manning Ave.

Westmont at 9:30PM, Ty Warner Park Plaza & Blackhawk Dr.