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Navy Pier Celebrates Fourth of July with Signature Fireworks Display and Two Days of Free Live Music

CHICAGO – Navy Pier, Chicago’s favorite Independence Day locale, invites Chicagoans and guests to enjoy a remarkable Fourth of July, complete with live music in the Miller Lite Beer Garden and the Pier’s 4th of July Fireworks Presented by Miller Lite on Thursday, July 4. As the city’s only lakefront fireworks show, Navy Pier will be at the epicenter of the city’s Independence Day festivities, with an extraordinary 15‐minute fireworks display synchronized to patriotic music.


New to the programming line-up this year, the Pier will proudly present the “Navy Band Great Lakes Wind Ensemble Independence Day Tribute Concert” on Wednesday, July 3 at 7:30 p.m. at the Lake Stage in Polk Bros Park. Free and open to the public, Chicago’s most spectacular summer holiday tradition returns with an extra day of musical celebrations. Comprised of 45 professional musicians, the Navy Band Great Lakes Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Lieutenant Patrick Hill, continues the legacy of bandmaster Lieutenant Commander John Philip Sousa to maintain the tradition of military music throughout the Midwest. After the concert, be sure to catch a display of the Pier’s biweekly Aon Summer Fireworks at 9:30 p.m.


On Independence Day, Navy Pier will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Guests are encouraged to take advantage of the various activities and experiences on the Pier throughout the day – from the diverse dining, retail and entertainment options within the Fifth Third Bank Family Pavilionto the iconic Centennial Wheel and other popular attractions in Pier Park. Navy Pier’s boating partners will also offer cruises throughout the day and during the fireworks display for an unparalleled viewing experience. Starting at 2 p.m., free live music will be offered at the Miller Lite Beer Garden. The 4th of July Fireworks Presented by Miller Lite will begin at 9:30 p.m.


As in past years, large crowds are expected at Navy Pier on July 4. The Pier anticipates closing its gates no later than 7:30 p.m. (closure may take place earlier; the time is ultimately determined in coordination with the on-site Chicago Fire Department marshal). Guests are encouraged to plan their visit accordingly and arrive early. It is also recommended that guests visit Navy Pier’s website and/or social media channels for capacity-related updates on the Fourth of July.

In the event of closure, guests with approved advance tickets or official reservations may be allowed entry, including those for Navy Pier IMAX at AMC, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, cruises and more. These guests are strongly encouraged to arrive several hours in advance of the event start time and allow for extra travel time to the Pier.

Driving and Parking

Guests driving to the Pier may park in one of Navy Pier’s on-site parking garages for a special flat rate of $45 on July 3 and 4. The parking garages are expected to reach capacity quickly, so early arrival is encouraged. In addition, ride share services will be disabled upon Pier closure as no pedestrian or vehicular traffic will be permitted on the North Dock. Guests using ride share services will be required to walk west on Grand Avenue or Illinois Street for pick up. It is highly recommended to take public transportation or to park at one of the Pier’s three partner parking garages at a discounted rate of $15, with validation which can be obtained from Navy Pier’s Guest Services Kiosk at the Pier’s front entrance:

  • Grand Plaza Park (540 N. State Street) 
  • Ogden Plaza Self Park (300 E. North Water Street) 
  • Millennium Park Garage (5 S. Columbus Street) 

Safety and Security

The safety and security of Navy Pier guests, partners and staff is always a top priority. During major events and all throughout the year, the Pier exhibits an abundance of caution and enforces heightened security measures for the safety, welfare and comfort of all who visit. The Pier provides multiple and visible layers of security that cover the entire property. In addition to Navy Pier security assigned by Allied Universal Security, the Pier will have presence from the Chicago Police Department, K9 officers, off-­‐duty officers and additional private security. Pier-­‐wide surveillance is also administered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all, Navy Pier will enforce the following policies and procedures on Independence Day:

  • Security Checkpoints: All guests must pass through a special security checkpoint before being allowed entry to Navy Pier. Multiple inspection points will be located throughout Navy Pier.
  • Youth Escort Policy: For the comfort and safety of all guests, Navy Pier’s youth escort policy will be in effect on July 3 and 4, starting at 6 a.m. Guests may be asked to present a valid driver’s license, state ID or military ID upon entering all Navy Pier’s facilities or grounds. Guests to Navy Pier under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian at all times. The parent or legal guardian is responsible for the safety and conduct of minor guests in their party.
  • Bag and Vehicles Policy: All bags and vehicles are subject to inspection. Large bags and backpacks are strongly discouraged.
  • Prohibited Items and Activities: Fireworks, coolers, bikes, skateboards, rollerblades, skate shoes and weapons of any kind are not allowed on Navy Pier. As always, NO outside alcohol may be brought to Navy Pier. The preceding prohibitions are in effect year-round, including July 4th.
  • Pets and Animals: No pets or animals will be permitted, with the exception of service animals.
  • Re-entry Regulations: Upon closure due to crowd capacity, re-entry into Navy Pier is not permitted. If guests leave Navy Pier property before the gates are closed, they are not guaranteed return access. It is highly recommended that all parties remain together.
  • Areas Surrounding Navy Pier: No parking, stopping or loitering will be permitted along the streets adjacent to Navy Pier, including but not limited to Streeter Drive, Grand Avenue and Illinois Street.
  • No exceptions will be made to the above guidelines and policies.

As always, Navy Pier asks that guests be vigilant of their surroundings. Remember: If You See Something, Say Something. To report a concern, contact Navy Pier Security by finding the nearest security officer and/or calling (312) 595-5060. In the event of an emergency, immediately contact Chicago authorities by dialing 911.

For more information and updates regarding parking garage or Pier closure throughout the Fourth of July celebration, please visit the Navy Pier website or follow Navy Pier on Twitter (@NavyPier) for instant updates.

 About Navy Pier

Located on Lake Michigan, Navy Pier is one of the top-attended nonprofit destinations in the Midwest, stretching more than six city blocks and welcoming nearly 9 million guests annually. Originally opened in 1916 as a shipping and recreation facility, this Chicago landmark showcases more than 50 acres of parks, restaurants, attractions, retail shops, sightseeing and dining cruise boats, exposition facilities and more. The Pier recently celebrated its 100th anniversary with the unveiling of the iconic Centennial Wheel, Polk Bros Park, Fifth Third Bank Family Pavilion and Peoples Energy Welcome Pavilion. In 2019, Navy Pier continues to usher in its second century with ongoing pier-wide redevelopment efforts – including a 220-room Hilton hotel with rooftop bar, a marina and more – in addition to free, year-round arts and cultural programming designed to inspire, educate and connect communities across the city and globe. Click hereto donate to Navy Pier, a 501(c)(3) organization, in support of free public programs. For more information, visit www.navypier.org.

Navy Pier Mission Statement

Navy Pier is the People’s Pier, Chicago’s lakefront treasure, welcoming all and offering dynamic and eclectic experiences through partnerships and programs that inspire discovery and wonder.

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