Get Patriotic in the Park!

Fri June 23, 2023

DeKalb, IL- The annual Fourth of July Celebration in DeKalb is synonymous with summer. Families and friends alike have been watching the fireworks show at Hopkins Park, 1403 Sycamore Road, or locations throughout the city for decades as part of their holiday tradition. Visitors bring their blankets, chairs, and picnics to gather to listen to live music and enjoy the fireworks co-sponsored by the City of DeKalb and the DeKalb Park District.  

The holiday kicks off with the annual Independence Day Run/Walk, bright and early at 8:00 am to beat the summer heat. This chip-timed race starts and finishes at Hopkins Park, providing participants to run a 5K or 10K. Results and the award ceremony are after the last runner returns, or no later than 10:00 am. The Early Bird 5K fee is $30, and the 10K fee is $40 to participate and includes a race bag with bib, participation medal, and race t-shirt. Register by June 28 for the Early Bird rate. Race registration is unavailable from June 29 through July 3, but staff will accept day-of-race registration for $45 per person; however, a race bag with a collectible t-shirt and participation medal is not guaranteed. Race day registration and check-in are from 7:00 am – 7:30 pm. Participants are encouraged to come dressed to support the red, white, and blue festivities! Thank you to our Independence Day Run/Walk sponsors, Northern Rehab Physical Therapy, First Student, and Pepsi Co. 

“Running is a great metaphor for life because you get out of it what you put into it. The benefits of running and walking are endless,” stated Athletic Coordinator Jeff Myles. “Whether you prefer to run or walk, all are welcome and encouraged to participate in this annual tradition.”   

Once the race ends, the public can claim their favorite spot and enjoy a day of family fun in the park. There will be on-site activities such as a magic show at the Bandshell from 2:00-3:15 pm, games, relay races, and strolling entertainers from 2:00-6:00 pm, food vendors from 2:00-6:00 pm, Final Say (Live Band) at the Bandshell from 3:30-5:30 pm, and the DeKalb Municipal Band Concert at the Bandshell from 7:30-9:00 pm. A select supply of glowsticks will be available for purchase (cash only), one for $5 or two for $8. The fireworks start approximately 30 minutes after sunset. Thank you to our Fourth of July Celebration Sponsor, Sport Clips Haircuts.

“Summertime is the quintessential season when so many celebrate what it means to be an American,” commented Executive Director John Shea, Jr. “During my first Fourth of July Celebration, I was moved when I witnessed thousands of people gathered in Hopkins Park, singing together, watching the fireworks show, and listening to the DeKalb Municipal Band as we celebrated our nation’s freedom. With the addition of daytime entertainment, we look forward to enhancing a DeKalb tradition and creating new memories for current and future generations!” 

To keep both our two-legged and four-legged friends safe, dogs are prohibited in Hopkins Park on July 4 after 12:00 pm. If you are a food vendor interested in participating in the event, contact Chrissy Tluczek at Staff is also seeking local sponsors to bring extra fun to the festivities. Interested businesses or organizations may contact Community Outreach Coordinator Cindy Hardy at for more details.

For more information about the Independence Day Run/Walk or the Fourth of July Celebration and Fireworks Show, please visit or call (815) 758-6663. 

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