Spectator Guide

Spectator Guide

The Champaign County Freedom Celebration Committee wants everyone to have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July. We've got information and tips to help you get the most out of your day and answers to the most frequently asked questions!

Schedule

Event Time Location
Race Day Registration 7:30a NEW! Registration and Staging: On Kirby between the State Farms Northwest and Northeast parking lots in front of the ticket booths. Parking Location: State Farm Centers' Northeast Parking Lot.
Youth Run 8:30a Fun run around State Farm Center.
5K Race/walk 9:05a RACE START: Florida Ave. (between First and Fourth street) across from Memorial Stadium. RACE FINISH: is halfway between Florida and St. Mary's Road
Parade 11:05a Begins near First & Kirby. Continues East on Kirby/Florida to Lincoln Ave. then proceeds North on Lincoln Ave to Illinois Street.
Evening Entertainment 7:00p Corner of Kirby & 1st across from Lot E-14.
Fireworks 9:15p Launched from UI parking lot E14 West of State Farm Center.

Parking

Morning Events: Free parking is available in any paved lot on the University of Illinois campus. Handicap parking is available in the State Farm Center parking lots and on Oak Street between Kirby Avenue and Stadium Drive. NOTE: There is NO PARKING permitted on the grass. Please help us save the grass and the extra spectator space! Signs will be posted.

Evening Program: Please visit the map on the Event page to see the designated public parking areas. Handicap parking is available on Oak Street between Kirby Avenue and Stadium Drive. NOTE: There is NO PARKING permitted on the grass.

Road Closures

5K & Parade:
Parade spectators should note that the parade route is closed to traffic between 8:00 a.m. and approximately 2:00 p.m. Plan to access University parking lots by approaching the campus area from the North and West sides for the parade events
Evening Program:
Maps and other information pertaining to traffic and parking restrictions from our Public Safety Liasons will be available closer to July 4th.

Restrooms

5K Race:
Porta-potties are available in the area of the start/finish line as well as along the parade route. Handicap accessible facilities are located near the Seniors tent on Kirby south of Memorial Stadium and in the Southwest corner of Stadium Terrace near Kirby and Oak Street.

Parade:
Restrooms are available along the parade route at Lincoln and Illinois; Lincoln between Indiana and Michigan; Illini Grove Pavilion restrooms at Lincoln and Pennsylvania; Florida East of Maryland; Kirby near the Seniors tent and viewing stand. Handicap accessible facilities are located near the Seniors tent on Kirby south of Memorial Stadium.

Evening/Fireworks:
Restrooms will be placed throughout the spectator viewing areas and parking lots.

Safety Information

  • Police Officers will be on foot patrol throughout the event. Please contact them should you need assistance or have an emergency.
  • Parents, please keep your children on the curb and out of the street during the parade. Drivers of vehicles moving on the parade route have reduced visibility due to the large crowds.
  • Please hold the hands of small children when walking to or away from the parade route and evening show areas. It is very easy to become separated in the large crowds.
  • Please be considerate of others when playing with water guns. Be polite and don't squirt people who do not wish to be a target.
  • Police will confiscate illegal fireworks. For the maximum safety of the crowd, please leave the fireworks to the professionals.

Seniors

The seniors' tent will be located on Kirby south of Memorial Stadium. Please visit this page for more information or call our hotline at 217.531.3777.

Food Vendors

Delicious food and cool drinks will be available along the parade route and during the evening program. Please see the event maps for specific locations.

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Things to See and Do

  • Stay up-to-date by visiting the website often
  • Follow us on Twitter and “like” us on Facebook
  • Share your best 4th of July pictures and videos with us
  • Enjoy the Macy’s style parade balloons
  • Don’t miss the parade floats and marching bands
  • Relax and enjoy the music and evening entertainment
  • Munch on the good eats available from our local vendors
  • Bring a blanket or comfortable chair to watch the award-winning fireworks spectacular
  • Listen to the fireworks music soundtrack on NewsTalk 1400 WDWS-AM or Lite Rock 97.5 FM WHMS

Have Kids? Enjoy the Party in the Play Ground with Colonel Klink's Inflatables! Bring a blanket and find the perfect fireworks viewing spot. There will be live family friendly entertainment and lots to do so come out early! It all begins at 7pm! details.

Parking Tips

Tip for the best parking during the Parade or Fireworks
Pennsylvania Ave. near 4th street. On street parking is available, or park in the lot at the corner of Pennsylvania and 4th. It's a short walk to Kirby Ave to be at the beginning of the parade route and have a great view under the shade! In the evening, it's an easy walk to the west side of Memorial Stadium for the best view of the fireworks and access to food and entertainment!