As we approach Independence Day, The News-Gazette staff offers a look at some of the area's celebrations. If you have an event to add, please do so in the comments here.
RANKIN: Tractor pull, 6 p.m. Admission $10 for adults; $5 for children. People must be 21 or older to sit in the bleacher area in the beer tent. Concession stand will have sandwiches and other food.
ONARGA: Fourth of July Celebration 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Durham Park. Parade, talent contest, games, food, music, square dance and more. Fireworks at dusk. Information on Facebook at Onarga Chamber of Commerce.
RANTOUL: Firecracker Classic. Gates open at 5 p.m.; event runs until 11 p.m., behind Rantoul National Aviation Center, 6 Aviation Center Drive. Fireworks display. Ryan Ideus and the Feudin' Hillbillys, 9 p.m. Laser tag, car show, food, beer, vendors, 5K run and fun walk, giant inflatables, putt putt golf. 893-3323.
RANKIN: The Bill Polson Band and children's game, 1 to 3 p.m. Cake walk, 3 to 4 p.m. Gary Popel Band, 4 to 6 p.m. Taylor Wolf from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Southern Transfer will perform in beer tent after fireworks. Through Saturday, raffle tickets $1 each or six for $5 for a chance to win $1,000 (drawing Saturday night). Concession stand will offer fish dinners and shrimp.
DANVILLE: Fourth celebration at Turtle Run Golf Club & Banquet Center, 332 E. Liberty Lane. Hoosier Daddy performs, 6 p.m. on the beer deck. Fireworks at 9:15 p.m. DJ entertainment inside from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Open to the public.
MONTICELLO: Freedom Festival. Lodge Park, 3:30 p.m. through fireworks at dusk. Games and inflatables for kids, live music from 4 to 9 p.m. Food vendors. Fireworks train departs at 8 p.m. from Wabash Depot (tickets $10 for adults and seniors; $8 for children 2-12; free for children under 2 with a paying adult; 877-762-9011 for reservations). Raffle tickets sold for camping prize package and Classic 1967 Ford Mustang. 762-7380.
Also: Independence Celebration Spectacular, Eli Field open house and air show. 6 to 10 p.m., just south of town. Air show of model airplanes, music, food and fireworks. 840-3400.
UPDATE: Monticello has canceled its fireworks because of exceptionally dry conditions. Tuesday's show planned for Lodge Park north of town will not be rescheduled.
BEMENT: Freedom Celebration. Bryant Cottage State Historic Site. Parade along Illinois 105; family friendly games, activities, food and fireworks. 678-8184.
Also: Bement Community Council "Let's Have an Old-Fashioned Fourth of July," 2 p.m. through fireworks at dusk. Most activities at Forest Preserve Park on Franklin and Wilson streets. Parade (2 p.m.), bingo, food vendors, kids games, fireworks. 678-8476.
Due to dry weather, the Bement fireworks have been canceled.
CHAMPAIGN-URBANA: Champaign County Freedom Celebration. Celebrate Independence Day and the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts, "Celebrating Our Youth." Begins with 9:30 a.m. registration for 19th annual youth run and 5K race/walk, east side of Assembly Hall on Fourth Street, Champaign. Youth run and 5K race/walk, 10:30 a.m. Adult 5K race/walk, 11:05 a.m. Parade at 1:05 p.m., starts near First and Florida, continues east on Florida to Lincoln Avenue, then north on Lincoln to California. Grand marshals: About 275 Girl Scouts, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the organization. Evening entertainment, 5 p.m. at Dodds Park/Parkland College, near Mattis and Bradley avenues. Bounce house, inflatables, carnival games, musical entertainment on the main stage with Tons 'O' Fun Band and food vendors. Fireworks, 9:15 p.m., choreographed and synchronized with a custom soundtrack on 93.5 and 95.3 FM. Live entertainment, 9:45 p.m. Free admission. Parking: $5 suggested donation. http://www.july4th.net .
HAMMOND: Hammond Community Boosters, Inc., "Stars and Stripes Forever," 6 a.m. through fireworks at dusk. Pancake and sausage breakfast 6 to 10 a.m., parade at noon, concession stands and kids games at 1 p.m., watermelon crawl at 3 p.m., bags tourney at 4:30 p.m., softball 4 to 6:30 p.m., pork chop dinner.
HOMER: Independence Day Celebration. 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Village Park and Village Hall. All-day fun and food for everyone: 3-on-3 basketball, volleyball, bag toss, Arts in the Park (crafts for all ages), kids contests, Little Mr. and Miss Firecracker Pageant, Fire Engine Waterball, Pet Parade Pageant, Petting Zoo, face painting, free games with prizes, parade, Car Tunes Band and fireworks. 202-0618.
MAHOMET: Freedom Fest Light Up the Lake at Lake of the Woods is going on as planned. Gates open at 3 p.m. with kids' games and food vendors. Music starts at 5 p.m. with fireworks at 9. Boat rentals will be closed for the day. $1 admission at the gate, kids 5 and under are free. In the event of rain, Freedom Fest will be rescheduled for July 5. Unless it is announced on website (www.ccfpd.org/ ) or on recorded message at 586-3360 that the event is canceled, it is still on.
PAXTON: The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce Old-Fashioned 4th of July Celebration, Pells Park. Fun run/walk, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, at 8 a.m. on the south side of the park, with a 100-meter "diaper dash" for children 8 or younger, an 800-meter run for children 12 or younger and a 5K run/walk for people of all ages. Breakfast, 7:30 to 10:30 a.m., the American Legion building across from park. Flea market opens at 9 a.m. Car show registration, 9 a.m. to noon. Community worship service at 9:45 a.m., with a community choir. Also: Antique tractor show, children's parade, face painting, horseshoe tournament, kiddie tractor pull, numerous food stands, a preschool penny scramble and children's county fair games (Paxton-Buckley-Loda High cheerleaders will assist with games and face painting). "Blessing of the bikes" kicks off bike parade at 11:30 a.m. The Back Paiges band perform from noon to 2 p.m. at historic pavilion. Fireworks sponsored by city at 9 p.m., Memorial Field on Paxton's east side.
RANTOUL: Rantoul July 4th parade. Lineup starts at 9:15 a.m. at Maplewood and 136; parade kicks off at 10 and goes west on 136 to Grove and South of Fredrick to Wabash Park. 893-3323.
SIBLEY: Children's catch-and-release fishing derby at 9 a.m. at Sibley Lake. New slow-pitch softball tournament, with games at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., and the championship game at 6 p.m., all at downtown ballpark. Air Life helicopter will land at 11 a.m. at the Old School Park. Parade registration, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the township building. Parade begins at 1 p.m. The band GPS from noon to 1 p.m. at the Sibley Park gazebo. Free activities for children, with old-fashioned games at 2:30 p.m. at Sibley Lake, and face painting from 4 to 7 p.m., interactive inflatables and FunBelievable balloons. Registration for the Cardboard Boat Regatta on lake, 3 to 3:30 p.m. with races 4 p.m. (directions for constructing a boat are at http://www.sibleyfourthofjuly.com ). At 6 p.m. at the lake, parade and raffle prize winners are announced and the 2012 royalty will be introduced. At 6:30 p.m., Back Paiges will perform. Fireworks over Sibley Lake at dusk. Community organizations will have food stands at the lake pavilion all day. firstname.lastname@example.org; 745-2549.
SULLIVAN: Sullivan Fourth of July at Wyman Park. Parade begins at noon. Other family oriented events hosted by Sullivan Area Merchants and the American Legion include a carnival (runs June 28-July 4), with rides set up in the Legion parking lot near the park. Annual turtle races at 2 p.m. and the watermelon-eating contest and sack races at 3 p.m. Fireworks display at dusk.
TUSCOLA: 2012 Sparks in the Park Celebration, 12:30 to 9 p.m. at several locations in town. Parade starts at 5 p.m. at Main and North Central and runs north on Main, then through Ervin Park; Action Inflatables, 5 to 9 p.m.; dunk tank, 6 to 8 p.m.; The Sugar Prophets Band, 6 to 9 p.m.; car raffle announcement, dusk; fireworks, dusk, Ervin Park.
Tuscola has canceled the fireworks on Friday evening. All other scheduled events for Sparks in the Park on Friday and Saturday will take place as planned.
WESTVILLE: Celebration will begin at dusk with a free screening of "Cars 2" in Zamberletti Park on Illinois 1, with free popcorn and pizza for kids. Face painting at 7 p.m.
POTOMAC: Beer tent from 6 p.m. to midnight, with live music by Mike and Kayla, at the Millie Curtis Park. Bags tournament at 7 p.m., with registration at 6. Call Luke Esteppe at 497-1079 to register.
DANVILLE: Danville Boat Club, 15750 Boat Club Road. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.; live music featuring Greg Lamb and King's Highway starting at 6:30 by the lake. Open to public; $5 cover charge for wristband admission to clubhouse and grounds (children under 10 are free). Food buffet at 6 p.m.; cost $8 (kids 12 and under $6 or kids' hot dog with chips and cookie for $4). Fireworks scheduled for 9:30 p.m. 442-4021.
POTOMAC: All events at the Millie Curtis Park unless otherwise noted. 5K Potomac Healthy Families Walk, 8 a.m. A coed softball tournament, 8 a.m. to dusk; to register call Joey Smith, 799-7035. Parade, 10 a.m. at Potomac Grade School (registration at 8:30 a.m.). Inflatables, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Vendors, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Community cookout, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Beer tent, noon to midnight (music from noon to 3 p.m., Way Past Due from 5 to 8 p.m. and DJ Keith Eyre from 8 p.m. to midnight). New Breed Wrestling Alliance, 1 to 3 p.m. Bingo, 2 p.m. Bags tournament, 3 to 5 p.m.; to register, call Lucas Esteppe at 497-1079. Fish fry, 4:30 to 7 p.m. at American Legion hall. Fireworks, dusk at Potomac Grade School. Gun raffle before fireworks (tickets $5 for one and three for $10). 987-6900.
TUSCOLA: 2012 Sparks in the Park. Pancake breakfast, 7 to 10 a.m. and 5K Run/Walk (registration, 6:30 a.m.) 7:30 a.m., Tuscola community building. Abundant Market/Downtown Farmers' Market, 8 a.m. to noon, downtown. At Ervin Park: Boy Scout flag raising, 8 a.m.; 3-on-3 basketball and horseshoe tournament, 9 a.m. (registration 8 to 8:30 a.m.); water balloon toss tournament, face painting, dunk tank, Instinct Shooting with Chief A, 'The Unique Twist' balloon artists, action inflatables, all at 10 a.m.; mud volleyball, noon (registration, 11 to 11:30 a.m.); Andrew's Family Magic, noon to 3 p.m.; community pool party, 8 to 10 p.m.; The Patio Pickers Band and cake walk, 1 p.m.; Tuscola Point of Light Award Presentation, 3:30 p.m.; Tuscola Community Band Concert, 4 p.m.
WESTVILLE: Cornhole tournament, 10 a.m. (registration 9 a.m.), Zamberletti Park; registration $20. Golf cart show, 1 p.m. (registration at noon); registration $10. Beer garden, 10 a.m. to midnight. Stone Bluff, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Suspicious Activity, 7 to 11 p.m. For the kids, all day until dark a bounce house, obstacle course and dunk tank.
WESTVILLE — American Legion pancake and sausage breakfast, 7 to 10 a.m., Zamberletti Park (donations requested). Fireworks, dusk behind Westville High School.