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Fireworks at the Navy Base & FREE concert: Joan Jett & the Blackhearts

This is day one of the FREE Independence Day celebration at Naval Station Great Lakes in North Chicago. The family-friendly festivities begin at 4pm and culminate with a FREE concert by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts followed by fireworks synchronized with patriotic music. For more details, check out the flier:

There are food and beverage concessions, including beer and wine, and you're encouraged to support the sponsors who make this event possible. In the past, some of the best restaurants and caterers from around the area have served up their various specialties and I expect they will be there in force this year, too. There is usually a tent set up with picnic tables and benches to get out of the sun and sit down while eating, but it is not conducive to watching any of the stages. I recommend that you bring camp chairs or picnic blankets if you don't want to sit on the grass while watching the entertainment or fireworks.

Having been to this event many years in a row, I strongly suggest that people meet at a convenient location and car pool as much as possible. You may even want to park and ride the Metra Union Pacific / North Line (UP-N) to the Great Lakes Station, which is right across the street from the gate to the base. It will make it so much easier when leaving at the end of the evening.

Naval Station Great Lakes is known as "The quarterdeck of the Navy" because it is where all sailors attend their recruit training, also known as boot camp. There is a historic park immediately adjacent to the festival area and I highly recommend planning a walk through during the daylight hours.

Joan Jett began her career in rock and roll as a founding member of The Runaways, the first all girl hard rock band in the 1970's, when she was in her mid-teens. After the Runaways broke up, she formed the Blackhearts, and then started her own record label on which she released her biggest hits: I Love Rock N Roll (# 1 on Billboards Hot 100 for seven weeks in 1982;) Bad Reputation; Do Ya' Wanna' Touch; and I Hate Myself for Loving You, along with her version of the classic by Tommy James, Crimson and Clover. Her most recent record, Unvarnished, was released last fall, September of 2013. She has produced albums for other musicians, and is an accomplished actress of television, movie and even a Broadway musical, and has contributed musically to the soundtracks. She is an activist for animal welfare, and actively supported a candidate in the 2004 presidential primaries. She has been nominated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, and in 2003 was listed by Rolling Stone Magazine as number 87 in the Greatest 100 Guitarists of all Time. Joan Jett and the Blackhearts will be headlining on the Uline Warehouse stage at Summerfest in Milwaukee the day before this free concert at Great Lakes Navy Base.

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  • T H (it really is initials o.

    Another AWESOME Independence Day commemoration at Naval Station Great Lakes!!!

    We had a great coalition from at least four Meetup groups who gathered together, and even ran into a few people from groups who were just enjoying the festivities with their own family and friends. What a GR-RE-EA-AT start to the long holiday weekend!

    July 4, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    NOOOOOO, I want to go to this so much -- teenage me is so disappointed in 30 year old me for missing Joan Jett! :( I hope you guys have the best time.

    July 1, 2014

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