By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jun 28, 2023 at 11:59 AM

The Big Bang fireworks return to the lakefront on July 3, but many who prefer to celebrate with their neighbors will be happy about the return of the City of Milwaukee’s Fourth of July events in local parks.

Celebrations are planned on Tuesday, July 4 at Alcott Park, Enderis Playfield, Gordon Park, Humboldt Park, Jackson Park (fireworks only), Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, Lake Park, Lincoln Park (fireworks only), Mitchell Park, Noyes Park (fireworks only), Washington Park (fireworks only) and Wilson Park.

Milwaukee’s official 4th of July celebrations date back as far as 1911.

“Independence Day is special in Milwaukee,” said Mayor Cavalier Johnson. “We look forward to recognizing the Fourth of July and providing a safe, friendly celebration of America’s independence in parks throughout the city.

“I’m excited to continue the history of July 4 celebrations in Milwaukee with a focus on families, friends and neighbors.”

I’m thrilled not only to get back to having my annual breakfast ice cream cup at my neighborhood park but hoping also to see a nearby Milwaukee Fire Department Engine Co. back on the docket for a good spraying.

The festivities will include everything from parades to fireworks (at some parks only) to picnics to games and contests – like talent competitions and bike decorating, though I also recall cheering on my kid at a watermelon eating contest, too – and more.

Because the celebrations are a true community effort, organized by local committees and the city’s 4th of July commission, each park will have its own lineup of events, so head over to this website, where you can find links to each park’s plan and schedule.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.