Here are some personal tips I wanted to personally share with everyone
for the 4th of July.
I hope everyone has a safe and fun 4th of July.
(Parade information near the bottom of the article)
- DO NOT light off fireworks downtown while waiting for the downtown fireworks. Many people have been injured in the past because of this. Use your heads……. DO NOT light off your fireworks in or around crowds!
- Anyone who plans on flying their quad-copters/drones to video the fireworks you will be within the 5 mile rule of the airport, also the FAA rules prohibit amateur drone pilots: #1 from flying over crowds of people: #2 in the dark, : #3 at heights exceeding 400 feet. So that alone pretty much means you are not able too.
- Make sure to keep your lawns watered and nice and wet. Preferably a sprinkler.
- Make sure you get downtown way early, otherwise you WILL be stuck in traffic. I learned this the hard way a few times in the past.
- Traffic downtown is going to be a mess, with construction and the Hanley building fire, etc… I will say it again, get downtown early to avoid any traffic headaches.
- If you park in the parking garages, do not expect to get out anytime soon. Those things are a nightmare getting out of after the fireworks.
- When the fireworks are done, traffic is a mess. Many people drive unsafe. If you are involved in an accident, be sure to video or at least photo the other parties vehicle and driver. Video is better, because night photos are usually blurry and also video will show them fleeing. Because MANY flee on the 4th of July. Many hit and runs. It is LEGAL to photo/video anyone in a public place, so it is LEGAL to do so.
- I personally think the Morgan st bridge (Will be closed to traffic at 4pm and pedestrians will be allowed on it) will be the best place to view the fireworks from. And best of all, it is FREE!
- RPD has made it very clear this year they will be moving pedestrians along, near the Sinnissippi area along the roadway. So those of you who like to sit there the RPD has made it clear they will move you along this year. So you may want to find an alternative place. I will be posting more of this information at the bottom of this article.
- All the city parking garages are free to park in, except the one next to the BMO. They closed the one next to BMO this year for parking for the 4th. As stated above, park in these at your own discretion because they are a mess to get out of at the end of the fireworks show.
- Bathrooms, last year this was one of the biggest complaints I heard of. Lack of bathrooms. With that being said Davis Park has a lot of bathrooms. It would worth paying, just to use the bathrooms plus entertainment and fireworks. Also the bar at Madison and State was nice and let people use their bathrooms. But overall, there were not many bathrooms readily available to the public outside of Davis Park in the past. Yes, there were some. But few and far between. I saw that RPD posted there will be 37 port a potties this year, plus 6 at the city market. Locations are posted below. Sounds like they might be addressing this situation this year.
- We all know Illinois sucks for fireworks laws, you can only have “novelty items” such as sparklers and smoke bombs and snakes. But many of you choose to go buy “fireworks”. Please keep in mind when you light off the “fireworks”, that it is illegal. I hate to be the Debbie Downer here because I love fireworks. But the law is the law. (I should toss a disclaimer in here) Fireworks are illegal in Illinois. If you buy them and light them off, you do so at your own risk/discretion.
- Think of the pets! When you light off fireworks you are scaring the pets nearby. I am a huge animal lover, so I personally beg you to think of the pets before you go lighting off fireworks.
- Rock River has a NO WAKE restriction on it this year. CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL INFO ON RESTRICTIONS Police have said they will patrol the river pretty heavily this year. River conditions are not the best this year, due to the recent rainfall. So be very careful if you are out on a boat. Be sure to put lights on your boats! Last year I personally saw a couple of accidents that almost happened, because some the boats had no lights, or minimal lights. And they almost collided.
- Please show your support and buy from businesses downtown. Instead of bringing food, drinks, etc… downtown, Just buy them at a local store downtown. Show your support!
- I will say this one again: DO NOT light off fireworks downtown while waiting for the downtown fireworks. Many people have been injured in the past because of this. Use your heads……. DO NOT light off your fireworks in or around crowds!
- Some of the best viewing places: Morgan st bridge (Personally recommend this one), Davis Park (Information HERE on prices and rules), Any of the bridges north of the fireworks display (State st, Jefferson, Whitman, etc..), Anywhere along the rivers edge, Sinnissippi Park (Some places here you are not able to see them from), Parking decks, if you know someone in a highrise building downtown it might be a good time to contact them and say hi and see if you can watch from there, etc…
- UPDATE: Ski Broncs Cancelled.
Shorewood Park in Loves Park, has the Ski Broncs show and their own fireworks display. But you are not able to see the downtown fireworks from this location. Their fireworks are pretty good too! You get to see the Ski Broncs and their fireworks, FREE!
Update: RS FanRyan Zellner: “Oxford park is a good place to catch the country club fireworks .. they typically have concessions and port a potties too”
- You can avoid the Rockford Downtown and watch the Cherry Valley fireworks show. I personally have never saw them, but I have heard they are pretty good. So it might be worth going to check them out this year!
- Also Durand has their show at the High School and Also Winnebago as well. I heard these smaller towns are better to attend, then downtown. I personally have not attended these, so I do not have an opinion. But several people said these events are better than the Rockford. So it might be worth going to check out! And you beat the traffic mess from the Rockford events.
Durand and Winnebago and Cherry Valley, are all in Winnebago County. So not far away at all!
If you have some tips you want to add, please contact us.
These are general tips with common sense.
We hope everyone has a safe and fun 4th of July!
Share your fireworks videos with us at RockfordScanner@Gmail.com
Disclaimer: These are my own personal opinions. They fall under the Freedom Of Speech Amendment.
You may or may not agree with them, but they are my personal opinions. Please abide by the laws. Use common sense. And have fun!
From the RPD:
The annual July 4th parade will be held on Tuesday, July 4, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. in downtown Rockford. The parade steps off at 7th Street and 6th Avenue with the traditional “Motorcycle Parade” at 6:50 p.m. Please note, this year the parade route will end at Elm and Church Streets.
The Rockford Fourth of July Committee will provide entertainment and refreshments at Davis Park from 5:00 p.m. until the fireworks show begins at 9:30 p.m. Visitors to the downtown area are also encouraged to visit the many restaurants and stores that will be open; market vendors will also offer food and beverages from their carts near E. State and Water Streets.
As always, safety is a top priority and several street closures will be in place to ensure that the heavier than normal pedestrian traffic in the downtown area can be safely accommodated.
– State, Chestnut and Morgan Street bridges will close for pedestrian traffic by 4:00 p.m.
– The Jefferson Street Bridge will only be open for vehicular traffic, not pedestrian traffic.
– South Main Street northbound is closed between Kent and Cedar.
Rockford police will be directing traffic at all major intersections and will be present along the parade route and in the greater downtown area.
Attendees are encouraged to allow ample time for parking and walking to their viewing site. There will be no parking allowed in the 4th floor of the Church Street South Parking Deck located at 200 S. Church next to the BMO Harris Bank Center. All City owned parking decks will be open to the public and free of charge on July 4th. There are an additional 300 spaces in the UW Health Sports Factory parking lot at the south west corner of Madison & Walnut Streets which will provide excellent fireworks viewing opportunities. Downtown visitors are reminded not to park in private lots where signs are posted as violators will be towed.
Attendees are advised that stopping to view the fireworks from the roadway, especially in and around the Whitman Street Bridge and the North 2nd Street overpass over Auburn Street and Spring Creek Road will not be allowed. Rockford Police will be patrolling the areas to keep traffic moving and to ask that viewers to move to a safer, more appropriate location.
At the conclusion of the fireworks, guests are asked to please be patient and to note that their departure routes may be different than how they originally arrived. Commuters must drive with caution and obey all police directives for routing traffic. All bridges will open immediately after pedestrian traffic is cleared, approximately 20 minutes after fireworks conclude.