The 4th of July has a special kind of magic. I’ve most profoundly felt the spirit of community with those I share Kenosha with over the 4th. When you stand out on the street with thousands upon thousands as the parade goes by, it is hard not to feel a bubbling sense of pride and camaraderie with your fellow Kenoshans. All along the parade route from 60th Street through Library Square and through Downtown, you’ll see friends, neighbors, and family crowded to get the best look as the floats, bands, clowns, and local celebrities go by. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t know someone who marched in the parade in the Band of the Blackwatch, Kenosha’s own high school marching band. I myself marched in the parade with them in the 90’s! This year it’s supposed to be a hot one, so while you’re Downtown why not stop into one of the three ice cream parlors to grab a cool treat. You can take your choice from Scoops Ice Cream, Sandy’s Popper or Sugar Boxx.
If parades aren’t your thing, there is plenty more magic to be had! If you’re looking to get out and stretch your legs, there’s the Annual Firecracker Run. If music is more your thing, the Celebrate America event will take place July 3rd-4th throughout Downtown parks with local bands and a carnival! While you’re Downtown, be sure to try out your sea legs on Kenosha’s own Tall Ship Red Witch and take a ride on one of Kenosha's Electric Streetcars or the Lakefront Trolley. On the 4th you can head over to the Bandshell at Pennoyer Park for the Let Freedom Sing event to enjoy live music right up until the fireworks.
Of course the big attraction is the fireworks! It feels as if all of Kenosha comes down to the lakefront to watch the show. You’ll run into all sorts of people you know and meet even more as you park your car and join the mass migration down to the beach. Kenosha offers plenty of excellent viewing areas. From Southport Beach to Kemper Center to Eichelman and Wolfenbuttel Park all the way to Simmons Island and Pennoyer Park you will find masses of people eager and in good spirits waiting for the fireworks. Naturally the harbor is filled to the brim as the fireworks are lit on the famous Kenosha pier. No matter where you watch from, there is no missing that first loud boom as the show gets underway.
As the 4th quickly approaches, why not make a point to enjoy all that our wonderful city has to offer as we celebrate America and honor those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom? Order an apple pie from Elsie Mae’s, or pick up some beer from one of the local breweries Downtown and you’ll be sure to be a hit at your 4th of July cookout!
I will leave you with the lyrics to The Kenosha Song, which my grandmother says was written by the last city manager before Kenosha switched to a mayoral system. Here’s to a safe and happy 4th!
Kenosha, I said Kenosha
That great, big, busy town
Right in the middle of the USA
Between the New York Harbor and the San Francisco Bay
Where the wonderful east, meets the beautiful west
It’s the right place to be from!
I’m singing so loud of it because I’m so proud of it
Kenosha my hometown!
AUTHOR: Sarah Freeborn has been writing since childhood. A lifelong resident of Kenosha, her love for the craft was nourished by many teachers, family members and friends. She also dabbles in photography, watercolor and cooking. She loves to inspire others to see the beauty in the everyday. She lives and writes in her Downtown Kenosha apartment inside a beautiful, historic building.