Fourth of July Fireworks at Navy Pier
Don’t feed us that bologna about them being invented in China in the 7th Century. Fireworks are as American as spaghetti and bibimbap. Maybe even more American.
And Fourth of July Fireworks at Navy Pier are unquestionably the most patriotic way to celebrate America’s birthday. First of all, despite being settled by French-Canadian drifters, Chicago is America’s most American city. (a) It’s in the middle of the country, geographically guaranteeing a healthy mingling of east coast and west coast right in the heart of the heartland (b) It’s extraordinarily diverse. For example, we’re in Bucktown, which was given its name because of the Polish goat farmers that inhabited this area 100-years ago. We’re right off the Damen stop of the CTA Blue Line. The name Damen comes from German word for lady. 1/2 a mile west is Humboldt Park, home of one the largest Puerto Rican communities in the world. 1/2 a mile south is Ukrainian Village, which is mostly just Hispanic and Polish now. (c) Chicago has every type of professional sports team. Even soccer and roller derby. And (d) Chicago ended prohibition.
Secondly, before becoming the tourist trap hotbed we know it as, Navy Pier served to support America’s military might (which is what made America famous). In 1917-18, during World War, the Pier housed Navy and Army personnel, and Home Defense units. It even had a jail for draft dodgers, America’s least Americans. Then in 1941, Navy Pier was closed to the public, and converted to a Navy training center designated to accommodate soldiers shouldered with the responsibility of keeping America safe from non-freedom. Furthermore, Navy Pier is located on Lake Michigan, which is one of (and arguably the best of) America’s Great Lakes. Not Pretty Good Lakes, not Consistently Above Average Lakes, not Arguably Better Than Most Lakes. No, GREAT Lakes.
And finally, fireworks are awesome! All Americans are in agreement on this. Even when they were banned in Illinois, we’d still travel all the way down to Indiana and smuggle them across the border. And evidence suggests that as popular as fireworks are, that popularity is growing.
So put on your American Flag tank top, top off your flask, and take the Blue Line down to Navy Pier to watch America do what America does best.