I’ve been hearing a lot of chatter lately about the big 4th of July celebration on Peoria’s Riverfront. Many people have been asking questions like, “What makes this event so great?” or “Is it really worth fighting the crowds and the heat?”
As someone who was born in Peoria and has basically spent each summer of my life in the area, I can tell you that it’s completely worth it! Just to help break it down for you, I’ve jotted down my list of the five best things about the UnityPoint Health–Methodist Red, White and Boom.
5. Watch the Show from a Boat?
Good question, but there are hundreds of people who take to the Illinois River just to get the best seat in the house for the fireworks show. I’ve only been on the river for the fireworks show one time when I was a lot younger, but I remember being amazed at how much bigger the fireworks appeared when closer. It makes the entire waiting process fly by, and what’s better than taking a dip to cool off? I’d suggest anyone with the opportunity to hop on a boat should jump on board and experience the best fireworks show in the state like never before.
The unique location of downtown Peoria and East Peoria allows private businesses the opportunity to host 4th of July parties. Some of the most popular parties are at the Embassy Suites, Peoria Riverfront Museum, and Dozer Park, but there are several other chances for viewers to pay for a comfortable seat, food and drinks while watching the fireworks. This makes the event less of a project, because you can leave the coolers and lawn chairs behind.
3. Family Traditions
On a personal note, it has been tradition in my family to head down to the riverfront each 4th of July. I’ve been forced to battle the crowds, heat and even rain to keep the family tradition alive, but after each fireworks show, I know it was worth it. Red, White and BOOM is the perfect tradition for young families to start. It’s something that can be passed on through generations, just as my family will do in the future. Each year as a kid, I looked forward to packing up the coolers and heading down to the riverfront and, looking back, I wouldn’t want it any other way.
2. Much, Much More than a Fireworks Show
The Riverfront celebration is so much more than a fireworks show, and that’s what sets it apart from other 4th of July celebrations in the area. Starting at 5 PM, the riverfront will be jam packed with vendors, live entertainment and more on both sides of the river, giving the entire night a “festival” atmosphere. Over 175,000 people from every type of background and each part of the area come together for one night to celebrate our independence. I don’t know about you, but to me, that’s much more than just a fireworks show.
1. The Big Show
There’s nothing quite like this fireworks show in the state. It’s the reason people flock to Peoria’s and East Peoria’s downtown areas. Not only is the show synced to a patriotic musical soundtrack radio broadcast, but they’re also lighting off over $3,500 every single minute. The show usually lasts between 20-30 minutes and is ranked in the top 3% of fireworks shows in the entire country. During the incredible display, the echoes off of the buildings in downtown Peoria are so powerful that they can be felt in your stomach. And if you think that’s amazing, just wait until that finale that brings viewers to their feet year after year.
So, there you have it. My five reasons for you to Red, White and Boom!
We want to hear your favorite parts about the UnityPoint-Methodist Red, White and BOOM celebration in the comment box below.Written By: Andrew Ketterer