Dunlap area residents have a vast amount of choices when it comes to spending their Fourth of July weekend, and the familiar booming and bright lights of fireworks will be seen all around Peoria.


Dunlap area residents have a vast amount of choices when it comes to spending their Fourth of July weekend, and the familiar booming and bright lights of fireworks will be seen all around Peoria.

The Morton VFW Fireworks event begins at 7 p.m. Saturday on Veteran’s Road. The fireworks will begin around 9 p.m.

On Sunday, Chillicothe lights off a fireworks show around 9:15 p.m.

The riverfront sky will be lit up for about 27 minutes July 4 as Methodist’s Red, White and Boom weekend event comes to a close Sunday night.

The Fourth of July events are even more exciting this year, according to Lite Rock 107 program director Randy Rundle.

“Once that show starts, it doesn’t stop. It is nothing but lights and color for the whole 27 minutes. After you sit through that show it’s just, ‘Wow,’” he said.

More air space was given to the pyrotechnics crew to create more interesting and different effects for spectators.

“The fireworks this year, we added about 100 feet of shooting space onto the barges this year. That allows us to create different angles that will allow us to fill more sky. About one out of every three effects will be something we haven’t seen before,” Rundle said.

“As far as anything different, we try to come up with different effects and Melrose Pyrotechnics do come through with that.”

The combined Peoria and East Peoria event begins at 8 p.m. Friday with a performance by the Marshall Tucker Band on the Festival Park stage on the Peoria riverfront.

Another 8 p.m. start on Saturday brings the Peoria area a Talking Heads cover band, This Must be The Band, performing on the CEFCU Center Stage.

Saturday will also feature the largest gathering of classic cars in the Central Illinois area at Festival Park with about 300 cars from all over the state.

Finally, the celebration will end on Sunday, but not before 10 p.m.

Food vendors and a beer garden will open at 5 p.m. featuring music from JMP Radio Group. Food and Fun on the Run inflatable games will be available until 8 p.m. The beer garden will be open until 11 p.m.

Spectators will get a preview of the Prairie Air Show beginning at 8:45 p.m., followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem on both sides of the river.

Fireworks will begin around 9:30 p.m. depending on the sky.

Rundle estimates about 150,000 people flock to the riverfront and surrounding areas to view the fireworks show. Traffic is always a problem, but local law enforcement will be present to guide vehicles.

“It has gotten better, and as we go along the law enforcement does an amazing job with this every year. In East Peoria, after the fireworks are over, all the roads are ‘out only,’ and we’ve learned as years going by that’s the best way to handle this,” he said.

CityLink is also offering a “Zoom to the Boom” shuttle from Evergreen Square in Peoria beginning at 5 p.m. for $1 each way.

“All we need is the weather to hold out and we should have a good show,” Rundle said.
Tickets for the Marshall Tucker Band are $20 in advance or $25 at the gate and are available at Co-Op Record Stores in Peoria, East Peoria and Pekin; online on all JMP station websites; and at 800-594-TIXX.

Tickets for This Must be The Band are $10, and only available at the gate.