Annual pool party headlines celebrations
Flags line the street of the 4300 block of New England St. in Harwood Heights in preparation for the 4th of July.
What are your Fourth of July plans?
What: Red, White and Splash party
Where: Norridge Park District
When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. July 4
Updated: August 23, 2012 9:54AM
A lack of village celebrations won’t keep residents of Norridge and Harwood Heights from enjoying Independence Day.
Officials from both villages said they don’t remember ever having municipal-financed fireworks displays, and don’t have plans to do so in the future.
But the Norridge Park District will continue to offers its annual “Red, White and Splash” party from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday at the pool at 4631 N. Overhill Ave.
Activities include a scavenger hunt, water balloon toss and coin dive. Food such as grilled hot dogs and hamburgers will be available for purchase.
Admission is free for those with pool passes.
For all others, individual day rates apply. All-day rates are $8 for adults and $5 for youth. After 2 p.m. the rates drop to $6 and $3, respectively.
Aquatics Supervisor Brian Ellsworth has spent his last 22 Fourth of Julys at the pool party.
“‘Red White and Splash’ draws a lot of people, especially families,” he said.
Working at the pool is about as much fun as a summer job can be, said Ellsworth, who is a teacher at Northlake Middle School.
“I like the type of work I do,” he said. “I like the people, and I like seeing people have a good time.”
Asked what he would do, if he didn’t spend his Fourth of July at the pool, Ellsworth laughed.
“I was just talking with one of my friends,” he said. “This year will be the first time in years that he won’t have to work here on the Fourth of July. He doesn’t know what he’s going to do, or what’s going on.”
Lisa Mougolias, who lives on the 4700 block of Oketo Avenue, said she and her family probably will go to her brother’s house in Morton Grove.
“They have a big fireworks display there, and there’s a carnival that weekend,” she said.
But the commute is difficult.
“There’s really no good way to get there,” Mougolias said. “We need to find a place to meet halfway.”
On July 3, Nino Giovannielli and his family will meet the Mougoliases and head east down Collum Avenue to watch the fireworks coming from Ridgemoor Country Club.
Although the club is hosting a members-only celebration, the fireworks still light up the sky for blocks around.
“We’ve been doing that for years,” Giovannielli said.
And their children — Stephanie and Christina Mougolias and Gianna and Lorenzo Giovannielli — just might pull out their lemonade stand for the occasion.
Colette Scaletta said the fact that many people forget about the origins of Independence Day saddens her.
“We’re so blessed in this country,” she said. “This day should be about how we won our freedom.
“This shouldn’t be about barbecues. This should be about what it took to win our independence.
“There are so many places in the world where people don’t have that freedom,” she noted.