CHICAGO (CBS) — Hundreds gathered in Oak Lawn on Thursday for a fireworks show at Richards High School’s football field, many with lawn chairs in hand and others seeking a spot on the bleachers.
“I like the ones that are multiple colors,” said 10-year-old Mourad Ali.READ MORE: Jussie Smollett Trial: Lead Detective In Investigation Explains On Witness Stand How Smollett Went From Victim To Suspect
Mourad is the oldest of his siblings, who were all in matching patriotic attire as they waited for the big light show.
“I’m excited, because there’s no other holiday like this one,” he said.
The show there actually ended seven minutes early due to a computer system failure, so there is a chance the real finale may still happen.
Meantime, at Chicago’s Rainbow Beach Park, Lake Michigan’s cool water served as a respite during the hot holiday.
Some children chose to be buried in sand instead of the heat, while others opted to rinse off with a cold shower. But the most popular method of keeping cool was splashing in the waves, where a lifeguard was on duty.
“I actually worked here as a lifeguard in 1972,” said retired swim instructor Athenia Deans.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Slight Chance For Rain Wednesday Morning, Warmer During Day
Deans said she was the first African American woman to serve as a swim instructor “in the history of the Chicago Park District.”
“I believe I was 16,” she said. “This is the first beach I worked at.”
Deans went on to manage Rainbow Beach Park in the 90s.
She was heartbroken knowing the same water she once watched over brought grief to the family of 5-year-old Amiyah Walker, who died last Friday, three days after being pulled from the lake.
The incident happened around 8:30 in the evening. The beach is open until 11 p.m., but lifeguards are only on duty until 7 p.m., which Deans believes the City of Chicago should reconsider.
“Just reevaluate and make sure everyone is safe all day,” she said.MORE NEWS: View Live Radar
There are still hot summer days ahead, and drowning is the second leading cause of death among children ages 1 to 14, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.