ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford City Council has unanimously approved the 4th of July firework celebration for 2021.
Not all of the events on the list of approval ask for city support–only the Memorial Day and 4th of July Parade and Fireworks.
Organizers say the fundraising is the biggest part of these events, so having the council approve them after being canceled last year will help keep operations running.
Events are asking the city’s support for police services and barricades. In 2019, the 4th of July Parade cost the city over $85,000.
This year, one alderwoman says she expects the costs to be even higher to have more police services and traffic control to keep people safe.
“We’ve got to worry about streets and potholes and all the other major costs that city’s have, but more than anything we’re about people, and I think that this is something that our families deserve to have,” said 5th Ward Alderwoman Venita Hervey.
Plans include a parade and four music stages downtown, in addition to the 30 minute fireworks show.
“I think when that first shell goes off, I’m going to be as giddy as one of my kids,” said Ted O’Donnell of the Rockford 4th of July Committee.
The beginning of summer will start off with a bang after the council approved six Forest City events. The first on the list is a Kentucky Derby Party at Don Carter Lanes.
“We’re working with the health department, and we’re going to do this festival in a safe manner and also a fun matter, so people should feel confident they could come out and enjoy some of the food, the beverages, bet on a horse and maybe it’ll be their lucky day to win some money,” explained Don Carter Lanes general manager Brad Sommer.
After a year full of canceled traditions and events, Miracle Mile Rockford says hosting its car show is a must to stay afloat.
“Our funding got cut by two-thirds last year, and it sounds like it’s not going to reinstate this year so this is our one fundraiser of the year. So, this means everything to us,” explained executive director Paula Olson.
The 4th of July Parade and Fireworks show committee says plans are in motion.
“We’re trying to set up live entertainment at Joe Marino statue, the corner of state and Wyman, Ingersoll Centennial Park, and hopefully Davis Park if the health department allows,” explained O’Donnell.
“We’ll be shooting the fireworks still roughly at the height we wanted to do last year when we talked about doing it. So, 700-800 feet high so you can still see the fireworks from ‘well-ways’ away.”
Area runners can tie up their laces for Lifescape’s 4th of July Walk/Run.
this year we wanted to give both options where you can participate in person, we’ll take precautions and take into account where we are with covid at that point, but some might want to stay home and do it virtually and that’s great too,” said Zach Satterlee, the marketing director for Lifescape.
The annual Memorial Day parade was also approved.
Coming up at 9 and 10, we will learn more on how they plan to host this year’s festivities.