Here's The News-Gazette's by-no-means comprehensive list of area Independence Day events, organized by date (you can find your town within the dates).
The schedule and other information for the Champaign County Freedom Celebration is online here. Here are maps of the parade route and parking for the fireworks, which are scheduled to be at Parkland College. (There is no rain date for the Champaign fireworks show.)
This information was submitted for inclusion in e3 magazine. Deadline for the magazine has passed, but if your East Central Illinois town's celebration isn't listed, please add it in the comments section below this story.
Friday, July 1
DANVILLE: Gao Grotto, 2400 Denmark Road: steak and shrimp fry, 5:30-7:30 p.m. $12 or $14 for combo.
Turtle Run Golf Club and Banquet Center, 332 E. Liberty Lane: D&J Entertainment on the beer deck at 8 p.m.
MONTICELLO: Cruise-in, 5-8 p.m. downtown. Classic, muscle and antique cars will be on display on West Washington and North State streets. Chow on the Town: Three Ravens and The Main Street Pub will be cooking out on the square. Also includes live music and a "Yogi Bear" movie on the square. Yogi Bear souvenirs for sale by Celebrations. Picnic tables set up for those to come and relax.
POTOMAC: Fish fry at 6 p.m. at the Harry F. Carpenter American Legion Post 428, 104 E. State St.
At Millie Curtis Park, west side of town: Beer tent opens at 6 p.m. and features music by Mike & Kayla. Coed softball tournament ($100 per team registration; call Susie Bird at 987-6498) begins at 6 p.m. and runs through dusk Saturday. New attraction: Bags tournament begins at 7:30 p.m. (to register, call Lucas Esteppe at 497-1079).
TUSCOLA: Sparks in the Park celebration at Ervin Park: Swimming pool open 12:30-7:30 p.m.; baseball speed pitch games 4:30-9 p.m. Parade 5 p.m. starting at the corner of Main and North Central streets and running north on Main, then through park. Action inflatables open 5-9 p.m. Pearl Handle Band plays 6-9 p.m. Dunk tank 6-8 p.m. Fireworks at dusk.
WESTVILLE: Festivities at Zamberletti Park, Illinois 1/State Street: softball tournament games at 6 p.m. at Attutis Field. Fire safety presentation just before dusk; soon after, the movie "Gnomeo and Juliet" will play. Spaghetti dinner 4 to 7 p.m., Trinity United Church of Christ, 311 Moses Ave. Cost is $7 for adults, $4 for children 12 and younger. Menu includes spaghetti, salad, bread, cupcakes and beverage. Carryouts available.
Saturday, July 2
ARTHUR: Festivities begin 1 p.m. with parade featuring bands, antique vehicles, Shrine units and more.
Fireworks celebration at Jurgens Park (south of high school) begins at 4 p.m. with an air show featuring World War II aircraft, $20 helicopter rides from Central Illinois Air of Mattoon, skydivers from Mid-America Sport Parachute Club of Taylorville, the Rural Aviator dropping T-shirts from his powered parachute as he flies over the country roads (weather permitting), the Arthur Fire Department launching T-shirts into the crowd and a possible military flyover.
Gigantic Fireworks Display begins at about 9:30 p.m. and will feature exotic and unique Italian, Spanish, Japanese and American-made shells. Also in the display is the 500-foot-long Niagara Falls, plus the Wall of Fire, a 500-foot-long, 75-foot-high wall of flame. Plus thousands of shells to be fired during the 24-minute display, all timed to music that will be broadcast on 106.7 FM. Back by popular demand, the Rural Patriot will ride his Horse of Freedom through the Niagara Falls carrying the American flag.
DANVILLE: Danville Boat Club, 15750 Boat Club Road: gates open 5:30 p.m., Whiplash band 5:30-9:30 p.m., quarter-pound all-beef frank and pulled pork barbecue buffet 6 p.m., fireworks 9:30 p.m. Cover charge $5 (free for children younger than 10).
Gao Grotto, 2400 Denmark Road: Beef barbecue, Italian beef or hamburger and chips dinners (cost $6) 5:30 p.m. Fireworks at dusk. Admission to grounds is $2 per person. Rain date Sunday.
DOWNS: Festivities start at 7:30 a.m. with 5K Run and 1-Mile Walk. Both races start in the circle drive at the Tri-Valley Middle School, follow through the village and end at the Tri-Valley High School track. A Kids' Fun Run will start after the race and is one lap around the track. Each child will receive a ribbon for participating.
MONTICELLO: Freedom Celebration 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. downtown with food, vendors and merchant sidewalk sales. Organizations will have booths and games for the family. Chow on the Town with Three Ravens and Main Street Pub cooking on the square; picnic tables available.
Antique Tractor Show 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; participants rated on special classes.
Brass Band of Central Illinois in concert 11 a.m.-noon, courthouse lawn. Local blues band II Ton Heavy Thing noon-2 p.m., courthouse lawn.
Monticello Back in Time 11 a.m.-1 p.m., sponsored by the Piatt County 4-H. Go back in time with a corn shucking contest, cutest baby contest and more old-fashioned fair games. 4-H will also have a petting zoo with the animals.
Kiddie Pedal Pull 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Monticello High School FFA will run it.
Parade 2 p.m.; will run north on Hamilton, west on Center and south on State Street.
ONARGA: Durham Park: Sand volleyball 8 a.m.; Federated Bank's Baby Contest under the pavilion 9 a.m. (judging at 9:30 a.m.); Grand Parade lines up on Roosevelt Street 10:30 a.m. (step off at 11). Flag-raising ceremony and presentation for Citizen of the Year in park after the parade.
Firemen's BBQ chicken and beef dinners noon, community center (other food highlights: Lion's cotton candy, snow cones, OWC root beer floats, pie, ice cream, beer tent).
Talent show, bingo and open swimming pool 1 p.m. Action Inflatables 1:30 p.m. (pay $6 for unlimited admissions until 4:30). Firemen's Waterball Contest 2 p.m., Lincoln Street.
Firemen's Dance featuring The Greely Wit Band 8:30 p.m.; fireworks display at dusk in park.
POTOMAC: Festivities at Millie Curtis Park: Potomac Healthy Families 5K Walk 8 a.m., coed softball tournament continues to dusk, free kids' activities 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Service for Volunteer of the Year 3 p.m. The New Breed Wrestlers 3-5 p.m., DJ Keith Eyre 5-8 p.m. Garcia's Pizza Flying Tomato hot air balloon will offer tethered rides.
Potomac Grade School: 9:30 a.m. parade registration, 10 a.m. step-off grade school along U.S. 136 through town to park (entry forms, call village office at 987-6900 or Mike Highfill at 987-6131); fireworks at dusk at the baseball diamond.
Potomac Community Building, 310 W. State St.: community cookout 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Armstrong Potomac National Honor Society and Scholastic Bowl Team will offer bingo 2-6 p.m.
RANTOUL: Rantoul National Aviation Center Rockin' the Runway Firecracker Classic festivities: 5K at 7 p.m.; kids' 100-meter run 6:30 p.m. Event includes four-person team competition and all-area 5K championship circuit race. Race route starts and ends on the Rantoul airport runway after a little more than 3 miles of running or walking. Award for most patriotic runner or walker. Admission is $5 for all adults; children, walkers, runners, veterans free. Doors open and registration (for those not preregistered) begins at 6 p.m. Registration form and information at http://www.rantoulchamber.com. After the race, giant inflatables for children; car show; beer and food vendors; fireworks display and live performance by Ryan Ideus and the Feudin' Hillbillys Band at about 8 p.m.
TUSCOLA: Ervin Park, unless otherwise noted: American Legion Pancake Breakfast 7-10 a.m., south pavilion. 5K run/walk 7:30 a.m., community building. Boy Scouts raise flag and national anthem plays 8 a.m.
Downtown Abundant Market 8 a.m.-noon. Three-on-three basketball tournament registration 8:30 a.m.; play begins 9 a.m. Baseball speed pitch games 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Action Inflatables 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Unique Twist balloon art 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dunk tank 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Registration for mud volleyball 11 a.m.; tournament begins at 11:30. Pool open 12:30-7:30 p.m.. Kiddie tractor pull 1-3 p.m., north pavilion. Tuscola Women's Club Cake Walk 1-2 p.m., south pavilion. Relative Pitch concert ('30s and '40s music) 2-3 p.m., south pavilion. Tuscola Community Band concert 4-5 p.m., south pavilion.
Details and registration forms, point2tuscola.org.
WESTVILLE: At Zamberletti Park, Illinois 1/State Street, softball tournament continues. Vendors open 10 a.m. Registration for the Cornhole Tournament noon; tournament starts 2 p.m. Lions Club Big Wheel and Lions Club Barnyard Bingo tickets for Sunday's game on sale 6-11 p.m. The 90 Proof band 8 p.m. on entertainment stage on tennis court. Beverages offered by American Legion Post 51.
Sunday, July 3
CLINTON: Celebrate Clinton's festivities 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Mr. Lincoln's Square downtown. Tour DeWitt bike ride check-in 6 a.m. Entertainment by Salty Strings, The Nelson Brothers and Modern Cowboys 11 a.m., downtown stage. Celebration also includes food vendors, artist guild area, extended farmers' market, dunk tank, bike-decorating contest, watermelon- and pie-eating contests, bed races, face painting and balloon art for the kids. Information 935-9411.
DANVILLE: Turtle Run Golf Club & Banquet Center, 332 E. Liberty Lane: Hoosier Daddy concert 6 p.m. on the patio. Moon-Glo burgers available. $5 per carload or $2 per person for walk-ups. Fireworks at dusk; D&J Entertainment 10 p.m.-2 a.m.
MONTICELLO: Monticello Freedom Celebration, Part II at Lodge Park: Food vendors open at noon. Christian rock band 40-1 plays 2-3 p.m.; Bill Galt and Jeff Kerr plays 3:30-5:30 p.m.; Figure 8 plays 6:30-9 p.m. Colonel Klinks Inflatables 4:30 p.m. Olivia McDavitt sings national anthem before fireworks.
ONARGA: Onarga Lazy Daze Car Show in the downtown business district: Registration 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; show 1-3 p.m.; judging 3 p.m. Streetwide square dance 4 p.m.; all ages welcome.
WESTVILLE: At Zamberletti Park, Illinois 1/State Street: Softball tournament continues. Vendors open 10 a.m. Lotza Fun Karaoke 1-5 p.m. on tennis court entertainment stage.
Lions Club Big Wheel 6-11 p.m. The Brat Pack 8 p.m. on entertainment stage. Tickets are $10; available at park concession stand, Village Hall, Stefani's, or from Darren Troglia (260-8169). Westville Recreation League 50/50 drawing during the band's break. Beverages in entertainment area offered by American Legion Post 51.
Monday, July 4
BELLFLOWER: Country Opry's "Fourth of July Show" 7 p.m., Bellflower Community Park. Details: firstname.lastname@example.org; 309-722-3497.
BEMENT: Parade 2 p.m. Games and vendors at forest preserve after parade until fireworks begin at dusk. Live DJ 9 p.m.-1:30 a.m. at park.
CHAMPAIGN-URBANA: Annual Champaign County Freedom Celebration, "Discovering New Frontiers": Registration for youth run and 5K race-walk 9:30 a.m.; youth run 10:30 a.m.; race-walk 11:05 a.m. on the east side of Assembly Hall on Fourth Street. Parade 1:05 p.m.; starts near First Street and Florida Avenue, continues east on Florida to Lincoln Avenue, then north on Lincoln to California Avenue. Free small American flags will be given to children along route just before parade begins (Exchange Clubs are giving them away for 26th year; anyone wishing to contribute may send donations to Champaign Exchange Club, 1812 Coventry Drive, Champaign, IL 61822-5240; or Urbana Exchange Club, 504 E. Mumford Drive, Urbana, IL 61801).
Dodds Park at Parkland College, near Mattis and Bradley avenues, C: Entertainment begins 7 p.m. on the main stage near the north soccer field parking lot. Fireworks 9:15 p.m. Post-fireworks entertainment 9:45 p.m. Information: http://www.july4th.net or 366-3777.
DANVILLE: Danville Country Club, 2718 Denmark Road: Fireworks at dusk. Parking on grounds for members only.
DOWNS: Fireman's Breakfast 6-10 a.m. at the Tri-Valley Middle School all-purpose room. Baking contest items delivered to the youth for judging 9-10 a.m.; baked goods sale after parade.
Dooley Park live entertainment: Biscuits and Gravy 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Bad Halo 2:45-5:45 p.m., Sister Groove 6-9 p.m. Fireworks at dusk.
Parade noon. Children's Pedal Tractor Pull 1 p.m. Games and inflatables, along with the Zoo Lady, 1 p.m. Barrel Rides 1:30-3 p.m. Dunk tank 1:30 p.m. and will feature local school and government celebrities. Sand volleyball tournament 1 p.m. At 2 p.m., shooting contest and a three-on-three basketball tournament. Baggo tournament and bingo 6-8 p.m.
GEORGETOWN: Georgetown Fairgrounds, 413 N. Seminary St.: Fireworks at dusk (rain date July 10).
HOMER: Parade 5:30 p.m.; food vendors and entertainment at village hall. Independence Day Concert featuring CarTunes community summer band and Singin' in the CAR-us community summer chorus 7-8:30 p.m. in park behind village hall. Fireworks 9 p.m. (rain date TBA). Concert details at http://communityartsresource.org/chorus.php.
LeROY: LeRoy High football field: Face painting, balloon art, bounce houses, music, Sno-Biz, King Biscuit BBQ 6 p.m. Flag presentation 8 p.m. Door prize, raffle and 50/50 drawings 8:45 p.m. Fireworks at dusk.
MAHOMET: Freedom Fest: Light Up the Lake! 3-10 p.m., Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve, 109 S. Lake of the Woods Road. Family activities capped off by fireworks display set to music. $1 per person; kids 5 and younger free. Rain date July 5. Details: 586-3360.
OAKWOOD: Pre-parade breakfast 6-10 a.m. at Fire Department (donations accepted).
Parade lineup 10 a.m., Oakwood Street; parade steps at 11, starting at Collett and Oakwood streets and ending at South Main and Olmstead streets.
Oakwood Park: Afternoon activities include seed sack races, games, cupcake walk, DJ, mini golf, chair massages, inflatable activities and food. Wrist bands for unlimited games and activities $8. Jump rope contest 4:30 p.m. Free-throw challenge 5 p.m. Archery demonstrations 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Hula hoop contest 6 p.m. Limbo contest 6:30 p.m. Fast-pitch contest 7 p.m. Depending on emergency scheduling, Air Life helicopter landing 8:15 p.m. Fireworks at dusk.
PAXTON: Old-Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration at Pells Park: 5K run/walk and 1-mile run/walk 8 a.m. (sponsored by the Knights of Columbus Council #8229). Breakfast at American Legion building across from park 7:30-10:30 a.m. (sponsored by Prospect Chapter 367 of the Order of the Eastern Star).
Flea market opens 9 a.m. Car show registration 9 a.m.-noon. Patriotic music by the Community Choir and First Lutheran Church handbell choir 9:15 a.m., pavilion at Pells Park. Presentation of the colors by American Legion Prairie Post 150 members 9:30 a.m. Community worship service 9:45 a.m. (winners of house-decorating contest and Golden Deeds Award announced during service).
Antique tractor show 10 a.m. (sponsored by Paxton Rotary Club). Lunch stands open 11 a.m.
"Blessing of the bikes," face painting, children's games, kiddie tractor pull registration ($1 per entrant; sponsored by J&J Farm Toys) 11:30 a.m.
Local band The Back Paiges will perform at noon. Car show judging, "Take A Craft" (sponsored by the Paxton Carnegie Library), horseshoe tournament at noon.
Ford County Historical Society museum downtown open noon-3 p.m. Rock-paper-scissors tournament 2 p.m., Pells Park, sponsored by First Baptist Church. Ice cream social 2 p.m. Little Vibrations 3 p.m., pavilion. Car show awards 3 p.m.
Fireworks at dusk, Memorial Field on city's east side. Details: http://www.facebook.com/4thofJulyCelebration.
RANTOUL: Holiday parade 10 a.m.; route starts at Maplewood Drive and U.S. 136, runs west to Grove Avenue, turns south on Fredrick Street and ends on Wabash Avenue at Community Service Center.
Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce's 2011 Firecracker Raffle, featuring $4,000 in cash prizes, starts July 4 and ends July 28. Tickets are $20 and boast cash wins of $100-$1,000 (details at 892-3323).
ROSSVILLE: Christman Park: 5K/1-mile Fun Walk and Kids' Dash check-in at 6:45 a.m.; race at 8 a.m. (call 748-6168 to register). Fish fry, hot dogs and barbecue at noon. Water slide opens 12:30 p.m. Cornhole tournament 1:30 p.m. Dixie Duck Dash 4 p.m. (registration noon-3:30 p.m. at the pavilion; cash prizes for first five ducks). Barbecue, hot dogs, pie and ice cream 6 p.m. Fireworks at dusk.
Rossville-Alvin High School: Old-Fashioned Parade 11 a.m., along Illinois 1/Chicago Street.
SEYMOUR: Main Street, downtown: Parade 10 a.m. Show-N-Shine Car Show registration noon; custom-made trophies by GS Customs awarded at 5 p.m. Live music all afternoon by local band. Concessions by Bo Bo's Bar-B-Que. Fireworks display at dusk.
SIBLEY: 53rd Fourth of July Celebration 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Sibley Lake. "Catch and Release" fishing derby 9 a.m. Antique tractor and car display 10 a.m., Sibley ballfield. Lifeline helicopter at Old School Park (schedule permitting) 11 a.m. Parade 1 p.m. Old-fashioned children's games, Fun Believable Balloons, 2:30 p.m. Bingo, 3-5 p.m. Face painting, interactive inflatables, 4-7 p.m. Cardboard boat regatta, parade winners announced, introduction of 2011 royalty and raffle drawing winners, 6 p.m. Albert Flasher Band, 7 p.m. Fireworks over Lake Sibley, dusk. Food at Lake Pavilion throughout the day. Fireworks rain date July 5. Details: http://www.sibleyfourthofjuly.com.
WESTVILLE: Westville High School, 918 N. State St.: Fireworks at dusk.