At their September 17 regular meeting, the Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 to continue fireworks on July 4 at Lakefront Park.
Prior to the meeting, a community survey was shared via email and social media with residents. 546 people responded to the survey. For survey results and comments, please click here.
Overall, the public’s preference for July 3 or July 4 fireworks was split during the 10-day survey window. Respondents were asked what day they would prefer to see Independence Day fireworks, with 54.58% opting for July 3 and 45.42% opting for July 4.
While not scientific, the survey served as a means to gauge community interest and gather feedback. “Unfortunately, there wasn’t a clear mandate from the community to change the fireworks at this time,” said Lisa Sheppard, Executive Director. “While July 3 received slightly more votes, the survey had a 5% margin of error. The results were simply too close for the Board to justify spending an additional $13,000 on the holiday.”
During the meeting, the Board expressed concerns with the risks associated with using a barge to shoot fireworks. Wave height and weather conditions could prevent the barge from arriving at Glencoe Beach for the fireworks show, but the Park District would still be responsible for paying for the show. In addition, the Board was concerned that a long-term contract was not available to lock-in the barge for five years.
“We will revisit the issue again in the future, but for now, the fireworks will remain on July 4,” said Board President Lisa Brooks.
With the fireworks on July 4, Glencoe Beach will close in order to safely launch the fireworks. The beach must be closed during the fireworks set-up, which takes approximately 12 hours. During that time, only authorized personnel can be within the 350-feet safety zone.
As in the past, Glencoe Park District will work with the Winnetka Park District to secure resident rates at nearby beaches. Glencoe Beach passes will be honored at nearby Winnetka beaches on July 4.