If you're from the Champaign/Urbana IL area you've undoubtedly heard all about the planning for the big Champaign County Freedom Celebration.

Grand Marshall:  United Way of Champaign County

Theme:  Celebrating Community Volunteers

The day starts off with a 5K Race/Walk, that was originated in 1994. Following the race is the phenomenal 4th of July parade led by the Grand Marshall, in which all the floats, cars and musical treats are being judged for awards that will be handed out immediately following the culmination of the parade.  Lastly will be musical entertainment, food, fun and the spectacular Fireworks display.  This will be a full day of family fun!!

Other 4th of July events in the area:

* Freedom Fest, Lake of the Woods Park- Mahomet IL:  Boats open a noon Concession stands and family activities start at 3 pm. There will be a tribute to our Service Men and Women and then a phenomenal Fireworks display will LIGHT UP THE LAKE! For all the details: FreedomFest.

* Homer 4th of July Celebration: The Homer parade will begin at 2 pm, games and fun will follow at the Forest Preserve until dusk at which time the fantastic fireworks display will begin!! More details:  Homer Fourth of July

*Rantoul:​  The Chamber of Commerce will present their 4th of July parade at 9:30 am, and Fireworks at dusk, however, you'll want to participate in most of Rantoul's Freedom Celebration starting July 3rd. Get all the details here:

* Paxton:  Paxton's Old Fashioned July 4th Celebration is a day of fun events starting at 9 am.  Games, food, pie contest, children's parade and more!  Pells park....Fireworks at dusk.  Details here: Paxton Old Fashioned Celebration

* Farmer City Raceway: Fan Appreciation Night and Fantastic Fireworks Display! For more Details:

Whether you choose one of these amazing events, or choose to celebrate with family and friends in the comfort and convenience of your own backyard, keep in mind the reason for our celebrations....the Independence of our great country!  We were built on the foundations of  individual rights, freedom, equality and justice for all;  and we need to protect those rights for the generations of those who will come after us.  So Thank the Military men and women for their service and sacrifice, and keep the reason and spirit of the day with you in whatever you choose to do.

And have a SAFE & HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!