Happy Fourth of July, Evanston!

Yes, we are celebrating the holiday today, but yesterday, hundreds gathered in the Canal Park neighborhood to celebrate activist, legal leader, mentor and politician Judge Lionel Jean-Baptiste during an honorary street naming ceremony and party.

Today, we celebrate the 100th year of the Evanston Fourth of July Association, which is an all-volunteer, community funded organization that puts together the sports activities, parade, twilight band concert and fireworks each summer for the city’s Independence Day celebration.

The festivities kick off at 9 a.m. with free, family-friendly lawn games like sack races, egg tosses and pie-eating contests at seven different locations across Evanston: Baker Park, the ETHS West Field, Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center, Kamen Park-East, Lincolnwood School, Robert Crown Community Center and Willard School. After that, a fun run for children 10 and under starts at 12:45 p.m. at Ackerman Park, and the city’s award-winning parade marches down Central Street beginning at 2 p.m.

And the Haitian Community Organization Festival, which was on hand to celebrate Judge Jean-Baptiste yesterday, will kick off its festivities today at 2 p.m., lasting until to 10 p.m. at James Park.

The centennial celebration evening wraps up with a free concert at the Arrington Lakefront Lagoon at Dawes Park at 7:30 p.m. followed by the lakefront fireworks at 9:30 p.m.


Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

The Legends Game to honor Ryan Bost: A photo essay. A 2019 graduate of Evanston Township High School, Bost was well known in the Evanston community and beyond not only as a basketball star but a leader on and off the court who put others before himself. His life was cut short at the age of 20 when he was fatally shot Nov. 9, 2020, in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood.

Credit: Supplied

Savanna Essig-Fox: An open letter to my girls in a post-Roe world. “We’ve just moved four weeks ago to Evanston, leaving behind a state governed by detestable white men who have done everything in their power to eliminate access to abortion,” writes Essig-Fox, a native Evanstonian who recently moved back to the city where she grew up after a stint in Austin, Texas.

Nancy E. Anderson: Am I naïve (or crazy) to still have hope? “I still include American in the palette of who I am, but I’m less secure about it these days. It almost seems like identifying as an American – or flying a flag – means that I want to go backward or pretend everything about the past was great. I don’t,” our columnist writes.

At This Time: Saturday at 8:46 a.m. Hold it for the holidays. Portable toilets are readied in Dawes Park – but strictly for the July 4 celebration. Fireworks will be held in the park on Monday night. (Photo by Richard Cahan)

Picturing Evanston. The Centennial Fountain in the Merrick Rose Garden on Oak Avenue and Lake Street at night. The fountain was purchased by public donations in 1876 to mark the nation’s centennial. It was first in downtown’s Fountain Square and was moved to the rose garden in 1951. (Photo by Joerg Metzner)


Join our team: The Evanston RoundTable is growing! Check out our jobs page for opportunities in editorial.


Become a RoundTable member!

From day one, it’s been the RoundTable’s mission to bring you unbiased, in-depth reporting about the Evanston community. But we need your help to continue investing in high-quality and in-depth journalism, reporting news that strengthens and enlightens our community, encourages civic engagement and bolsters our democracy. Please join our community of readers and become a member today.


Around the web

Chicagoans breathe the most polluted air of the year on Independence Day. According to an analysis conducted by MuckRock, WBEZ and the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago experienced the most intense air pollution of any point during 2021 from 9 p.m. to midnight on July 4 thanks to thousands of fireworks blasting particulate matter over the city.

Evanston reports first probable case of monkeypox. Last week, the Evanston Health and Human Services Department announced the city’s first probable case of monkeypox, a viral illness that typically starts with flu-like symptoms and progresses to a rash. The city’s Health and Human Services Director Ike Ogbo said the risk to Evanston residents remains low, and transmission of the disease mainly occurs through physical contact with bodily fluids or contaminated surfaces.

Trust in Supreme Court falters after Roe decision. With Congress at a gridlock and limited political power for the president, the Supreme Court has suddenly become the branch of the federal government most capable of changing society. But after the court overturned Roe v. Wade, many Americans are beginning to question the motives of the justices and how trustworthy they really are.


Like what you’re reading? Share it!

If you appreciate the RoundTable newsletter, please forward it to friends and suggest that they sign up!

Duncan Agnew

Duncan Agnew covers Evanston public schools, affordable housing, City Hall and more for the RoundTable. He also writes long-form investigations, features and the morning email newsletter three times a...