This past Fourth of July was one uncomfortable day to be outside. Temperatures hovered in the 90s with the dew point not too far behind.
Our first thought that morning was that perhaps the muggy conditions might prompt many folks to stay away from the city of Yorkville's annual Fourth of July festivities. But our concerns quickly abated when the near-60-minute parade stepped off onto Game Farm Road from Yorkville High School. Large crowds lined the parade route and then gathered in Town Square Park to enjoy old-time kids' games, eat food and hear patriotic songs performed by the Yorkville Community Band.
The only snag in the events occurred later in the evening, when a thunderstorm forced the cancellation of the annual community fireworks display which has been rescheduled for July 14 during River Fest.
There was much concern about the future of the city's Fourth of July celebration a few years ago, when the Bristol-Kendall Fire Protection District firefighters withdrew after more than a half-century as the event's primary organizers and sponsor. At that time, there was a very real concern that the city's long-standing tradition of hosting a Fourth of July celebration might end. Fortunately, the city's officials realized the importance of the celebration to the community, and the parks and rec department stepped up to sponsor the celebration.
Thanks to the efforts of city officials and with the support of local businesses and residents, it appears the future of the city's Fourth of July celebration is assured. As a result, the annual celebration marking our nation's independence will continue to be a day when the community can gather together regardless of their political beliefs to honor and celebrate our country, to continue a community tradition and to build memories for all.