This year has been one for the history books and certainly will be one for the history of Pekin, where the Oldest Consecutive Fourth of July Celebration will continue this year for the 190th time.
The parade is still being planned for Pekin on Saturday, July 4th – with some limitations and social distancing – to help contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
In order to comply with Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb’s plan to reopen Indiana, all events before July 4 will be canceled – including the fireworks.
According to Taylor Humphrey, Pekin Community Betterment Organization President, there will be no rides, flea market, food vendors, baby contest, or any other forms of entertainment.
“Members of the Pekin Community Betterment Organization have had many questions in regards to the 190th Pekin 4th of July Celebration for this year. This is all still subject to change if the phases of reopening were to backtrack,” said Humphrey.
The PCBO is following the orders set out by the Indiana Governor, the CDC, and the Washington County Health Department.
“I am thankful for the fact that as of now we can still have our Parade,” said Humphrey. “I’m praying people will try to make the best of it and understand that this isn’t what we wanted but this is what we’re being forced to do.”
Humphrey said that unfortunately July 3rd falls under phase 4 of reopening the state which means ” that we have had to cancel all events for that evening, including fireworks.”
“Phase 5 of reopening starts on July 4th, so we will still be able to have our Consecutive Parade,” said Humphrey. “The Parade will happen at 10 am on the morning of July 4th.”
For those that don’t attend, WSLM and WRLW TV will broadcast the parade live on social media and YOUTUBE.
Humphrey asks that spectators practice proper social distancing and sanitation measures.
She said at this time, face masks are not required but are recommended.
“We ask that everyone who is wanting to be a part of our parade, please register. In the past we have allowed people to just show up and enter the parade. In efforts to plan safely and have exact numbers we will need everyone to register,” said Humphrey.
Registrations can be sent to — 103 Kathy Street Salem, Indiana 47167 or 102 Mahuron Drive Salem, Indiana 47167.
Humphrey said once the registration is submitted “someone will call and let you know we received your entry form.”
She said there will be no walkers allowed in the parade with the exception of the Band and Color-Guard.
“We ask that no one hands out candy or any type of brochures in efforts to keep contamination down,” said Humphrey. “Our commercial floats, politicians, and other big groups are being asked to limit their number of entries to only two floats. (Example would be only two wreckers per company, two fire trucks per department.)”
People must be able to practice social distancing themselves while on their floats.
Humphrey said the parade would lead to the opening ceremonies on the Pekin Park Stage.
“We will have Dollars for Scholars, the Prince and Princess Contest, and we will end with the Queen Contest,” said Humphrey. “We encourage families to pack a picnic lunch and have a picnic throughout the park. We will still set out our picnic tables.”
While the celebration this year will have several changes and be shorter than usual, please be patient with everyone involved during this unusual and difficult time.
“We are doing our very best to make this event happen in the safest way possible,” she said. “Our number one concern is the health, safety, and well being of our spectators, participates, and community. We appreciate everyone assisting with this effort as we are all in this together.”