JOLIET – The fireworks show at Joliet Memorial Stadium continues to attract big crowds, even outside of the stadium.
Before gates opened at the stadium 6 p.m. on the Fourth of July, visitors already were setting up camp outside the stadium. Cars parked along 129th Infantry Drive, and families unloaded lawn chairs and grills as dusk drew near.
Tony Pullen of Joliet was one of many who came out with his family to see the show and have a good time. He was grilling hot dogs and beef while his family was listening to music.
“The atmosphere is nice. … It’s beautiful. Everybody is having a good time,” Pullen said.
The fireworks show is the result of a partnership between the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Joliet Park District and local law enforcement and firefighters, said Blaine Kline, the park district’s stadium and aquatics superintendent.
Melrose Pyrotechnics provided the fireworks, and Jim Richards of RME Audio Video provided the sound for the show. The work to make the night go off without a hitch began early Tuesday, Kline said.
“It’s quite a few people. … There’s pretty much a full day of work that goes into it,” Kline said.
Kline said it’s great people can see for free a show that attracts thousands. Visitors can be anywhere by the stadium and still view the fireworks.
“The location and the space that we have kind of makes it unique. … We kind of have the parking and the room to offer a bigger event,” Kline said.
Eddie Martinez, of Joliet, was sitting on Infantry Drive to view the show with his wife, who brought him to see it. He said he’s been to the show a couple of times in the past.
“Joliet’s been like a home,” he said.
Besides Joliet, Channahon offered its Independence Day celebration at the Community Park. The celebration hosted by the Channahon Park District offered many activities for families and children, including a Freedom Parade, a foam pit, sand art, inflatables, obstacle courses and face painting.
New this year was a concert from Chicago country music band Young Guns. The fireworks show was done by Five Alarm Fireworks Co.
Kaitlyn Studer, the park district’s athletic supervisor, said the event has always attracted a good turn out and one of the best things about it is that it’s free.
“It’s a good event for kids. We don’t charge anything. We have a free band, free fireworks, free inflatables. It’s a good family event. It gives you something to do and once it gets dark, we have the fireworks,” Studer said.