Organizers expect 200,000 people for ‘Red White and Boom’
PEORIA (Heart of Illinois ABC) - For the first time in three years, tens of thousands will flock to Peoria’s Riverfront for the Fourth of July.
The ‘Red White and Boom’ fireworks show will take place July Fourth at Sundown. Organizers are expecting crowds to be bigger than ever.
“It will be packed,” Midwest Communications VP and General Manager Mike Wild said. “About 200,000 people is what they estimate.”
Wild says the show itself is one of the biggest in the country and downstate Illinois’ largest event. He adds the celebration is a showpiece for the city and a boon to local business.
“The hotels and restaurants benefit from it,” Wild said. “It’s great for public image for Peoria, and it brings a lot of people to town and exposes what I believe are beautiful Riverfront’s on the Peoria and East Peoria side.”
More than a dozen agencies are organizing the event, including the Peoria Park District, the Coast Guard, first responders and more. Fon du Lac Park District Police Chief Mike Johnson says it will also be a record day on the water.
“Specifically on the water, I think you’re going to see more boats out there,” Johnson said.
And to support the large crowds, the Illinois Department of Transportation is working with local first responders to control traffic by putting out orange barrels and even closing bridges.
“We close off the Bob Michel Bridge 30 minutes before showtime,” IDOT District 4 Traffic Operations Engineer Anna Ghidina said. “They’ll open it up about 30 minutes after fireworks are done.”
IDOT says the best way to avoid traffic before the event is to get to the Riverfront early. Afterwards, they say be patient and listen to traffic controllers.
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