Fireworks, music and rides will kick off Homer Community Festival on Thursday, June 26.
The 4th annual fest runs through Sunday at the northeast corner of 151st Street and Crème Road in Homer Township.
New attractions this year include a band in the Saturday morning parade, Touch a Truck following the parade, and rides open to only kids with special needs and their families early Thursday.
Fireworks themed "Magic Skies II: Dancing in the Park" at 9:30 p.m. Thursday will be choreographed to dance hits and be simulcast on 101.3 FM. VIP-viewing tickets for the fireworks are available for $25 and include refreshments and picnic food.
"We are encouraging everyone to arrive early for the fireworks since they were such a hit last year," said Linsey Sowa, Homer Township clerk and events committee chairwoman.
The band Maggie Speaks will perform at 6 p.m. Thursday and again after the fireworks in the entertainment tent.
On Friday, the music lineup includes 80's Enough at 5:30 p.m. and Hi Infidelity at 9 p.m.
The Homer Community Independence Day Parade will kick off at 11 a.m. Saturday from 151st Street and Parker Road.
"For the first time we have a band in the parade, the Midlothian Scottish Bagpipers, so we are incredibly excited to get music out there," Sowa said.
Fire trucks, vintage military vehicles and more from the parade will be parked at the fest for families to check out.
"Touch a Truck will give good incentive to come to the carnival after the parade," she said.
Saturday's lineup also includes Rev. Bob at 12:30 p.m., Krazy Uncles at 3:30 p.m., Sinister Finch at 5:30 p.m. and Infinity at 8:30 p.m.
Sunday's music roster is Coopers Grove at noon, 4 Cast at 2 p.m. and One of These Nights at 4 p.m.
Food vendors include Davidson's Bar & Grill, Italia Imports, Mullets Sports Bar & Grill, Cool Creations, Pelican Harry's, Pizza Mia, Pepe's Mexican Restaurant and Tazza Italian Ristorante.
Rides include dune buggies, Fun House, Fun Slide, Zero Gravity and Big Witch.
Students looking to fulfill community service hours may volunteer at the fest.
Fest hours are 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday, with gates for fireworks viewing at the sports fields opening at 8 p.m.; 5 p.m. to midnight Friday; noon to midnight Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Festival admission, parking and shuttles are free. Admission to the family-friendly entertainment tent is $2, and free for those under 21 and seniors.
Unlimited-ride bracelets will be available from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday, noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. Mega passes for all four days are $45 in advance at the Homer Township Highway Department and $55 at the gate.
For other details, call (708) 301-0522 or see homerfest.com.