Drive-In Fourth of July

Spectators on land and water watch fireworks over the Kankakee River last July 4 during Kankakee’s 4th of July Drive-In Fireworks Celebration. This year’s event will include the traditional live music.

KANKAKEE — After no fireworks in 2019 and nearly no fireworks again in 2020, the City of Kankakee will again offer the annual Fourth of July fireworks show on July 4.

The event will be held at Kankakee Community College, 100 College Drive, and gates will open at 4 p.m. The price of admission is $20 per carload.

The Independence Day event will feature live music from the Kankakee Valley Symphony and its Youth Orchestra as well as the Kankakee Municipal Band. Organizers say this is a family-friendly event for all ages. Chairs are allowed to be brought in for seating.

“I think it’s really exciting, after a year of everybody dealing with the pandemic and being estranged from one another, to be getting back to community togetherness and celebrating the Fourth of July on both sides of the riverbanks,” Kankakee Mayor Chris Curtis said.

Curtis is also looking forward to the musicians providing entertainment to start the evening, which he says will be “a fun-filled early evening that we haven’t had in about two or three years.”

“I wish everybody a safe and happy holiday,” he continued. “Let the professionals handle the fireworks and just enjoy watching them.”

Last year’s fireworks show was not put on by the city, but was funded by local donors — a motion that was spearheaded by Kankakee County Board Chairman Andy Wheeler. After the city announced it wouldn’t be able to fund the annual fireworks show due to the pandemic, Wheeler, the Kankakee Valley Park District and a local group of 35 additional donors (individuals and businesses) donated a total of $15,000 for the drive-in-style show.