Thousands celebrate Independence Day at Navy Pier

FOX 32 NEWS - It was a busy day at Navy Pier - the perfect place to celebrate the Fourth of July.

Navy Pier reached capacity at about 8:30 pm, and parking garages closed to traffic around 3 p.m.

“It's so fun and I'm excited for the fireworks!” said Deana Oraz.

It’s a family tradition for many and the perfect place for tourists like the Wilson family from Oklahoma. They have front row seats for what was another spectacular fireworks display at Navy Pier.

The 15 minute show was touted as the only lakefront firework display in the city, attracting thousands of people including three sailors fresh out of graduation and stationed at the Great Lakes.

"We just had lunch and they recommend Navy Pier and we thought you know what, we just joined the Navy - might as well come by,” said Jeremy Lim.

“If there’s any time to come out and wear some whites, it’s today,” said Jared Mills.

"We are part of the tradition now,” said Justin Binder.

The seaman from Texas says the Fourth of July means everything to him

“Being able to stand here now in between these two guys and with ya'll, we are free to do this,” Binder said.

Along with the locals, tourists and sailors, Chicago police officers in uniform and in plainclothes filled the pier for the Fourth.

Patrons had to go through checkpoints at the entrance where their bags were examined and they were wanded by private security.

"Although security is important to us every single day and we do prioritize it every single day, today we have a lot more,” said Navy Pier spokesperson Payal Patel.

It was another beautiful summer day in the books - capped off with a fireworks display that sadly our men in white won't be able to enjoy.

“We have to be back by 10, we are not allowed to be out too late,” Mills said.

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