Wilmette and Kenilworth come together separately for the fireworks

Wilmette dwarfs Kenilworth in land area (5.4 square miles vs 0.6) and population (27,087 vs 2,513).

Despite their size differential, these neighboring North Shore villages duel to a draw in their small-town feeling. That sense of living in a small, neighborly town is rarely more on display than on July 3rd when residents of Kenilworth and Wilmette come together, mostly in separate venues, to watch the fireworks display at Gillson Park in Wilmette.

The process of staking out a good vantage point for the fireworks typically begins in the late afternoon in both communities.

At 5 p.m. a small trickle of families was beginning to descend the steps onto the beach in Kenilworth, below, which affords a great view of the Wilmette fireworks at Gillson Beach, above. By the time the fireworks begin the beach will be thronged with Kenilworth residents.

At nearly the same time Wilmette residents were streaming toward Gillson Park, on foot and by shuttle bus, to join the thousands already there for the children’s games, rides and festivities that began at 4.

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