Fireworks display a hit in Channahon
July 6, 2012 3:40PM
Carter Zemaitis of Channahon entertained his family dancing to the music of the DuPage Band at Channahon’s Fourth of July celebration. Sister Annabelle (from left), cousin Alana Maurisak and friend Nicole Houck join in. | Kris Stadalsky~ For Sun-Times
Updated: August 10, 2012 6:11AM
It’s been some time since I went to the fireworks in Channahon — since my boys were much younger. Not that we didn’t enjoy it, we always did, we’ve just had other plans over the years.
I vividly remember my boys’ sunburned, cherub faces, their red, white and blue outfits to celebrate the occasion and their excitement as they waited for the fireworks to begin.
So this year was a treat for me. I took my mom, Ardyss Johnson, who is visiting from Michigan for several weeks.
She was thrilled to get such an up-close seat to the fireworks. It’s the closest she’s ever been to them, she said. Her ohhs and ahhs were just as excited as the ones coming from the kids sitting on the blanket behind us.
In the town where I grew up, Bay City, Mich., they have a three-day Independence Day festival with fireworks each night and one grand finale night. But my mom was thoroughly impressed with the fireworks put on by the Channahon Park District.
This is the third year that the park district has used a pyrotechnics company for the display, and each year they work to make it better and better, said Tammy Kjellesvik, supervisor of recreation.
The park district always puts on a great event. Besides the regular equipment at Community Park, including a splash pad, they brought in two huge inflatable slides, a bounce house and a dunk tank. There was also face painting, tattoos, popcorn, cold drinks and sno-cones, which were a huge hit.
People created their own entertainment as well. Bean bag tournaments were going on as were impromptu baseball games on the diamond.
Little Carter Zemaitis entertained his family by dancing to the DuPage Band’s music. He was cute in his patriotic shirt and seemed to enjoy showing off his dance moves.
Bigger sister Annabelle egged on her baby brother, along with their cousin Alana Maurisak and friend Nicole Houck. They also joined in the dancing.
Mom Nichole Zemaitis said they were having a great time, despite the heat, and were eagerly awaiting the fireworks display.
The DuPage Band played right up until the fireworks. It held a Hula-Hoop contest and seven area kids kept up the pace right until the end. They were awarded cool band T-shirts for their efforts.
Even though it was a brutally hot day, people came out in droves for the fireworks festival. Kjellesvik’s guess was that at least 1,000 people were there. They came a little later in the afternoon than in years past because of the heat, she said, but in the end it didn’t deter people from coming.
It really was a great night for the fireworks. The moon was full and once the sun went down the temperature was more tolerable.
Mom and I set up our chairs in a nice clearing and had front-row seats of the night sky. That’s the great thing about Channahon fireworks, it’s like they are raining down on you from above. When the grand finale was complete, the crowd broke out in cheers and applause.
This will be a 4th of July mom and I will talk about over and over. Thanks for the memories.
Reach Kris Stadalsky at email@example.com.