Like a lot of things in 2020, the city’s Independence Day celebration will be a little different.
Last week, the city of Peoria announced it would host the All-American Festival at Home Saturday, July 4.
Two little words in the title make a big difference: “At home.”
Last year’s All-American Festival celebrated Independence Day at Peoria Sports Center, with bands, water slides, a cornhole tournament, plenty of food and the traditional fireworks blast off over the heads of thousands.
This year, it will be much of the same, but with locals in reclining chairs and sofas in their living rooms, rather than lawn chairs and blankets outside.
With the COVID-19 pandemic raging, the city is transitioning the annual All-American Festival to allow residents to enjoy it from their homes this year.
Peoria will be moving festival activities online and expanding its fireworks show to be viewable from backyards, computer screens, mobile devices and TVs.
“Peoria’s annual All-American Fourth of July Festival has long been a wonderful opportunity for us to honor the greatness of our country, the independent spirit of our founding fathers, and the freedom that we enjoy every single day,” said Mayor Cathy Carlat.
“This year we will celebrate from the comfort and safety of our homes, but we will still celebrate! As we all look toward the skies at the spectacular fireworks show, together we will honor our heritage and liberties as Americans.”
To adhere to the state and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) social distancing and personal hygiene guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic, Peoria’s annual Independence Day celebration has a new twist for 2020.
Now named the All-American Festival at Home, the city of Peoria will be expanding the fireworks show to three locations with a live online broadcast.
“This will be the largest Fourth of July fireworks display in the Valley and it is now accessible to any Peoria and Valley residents and beyond,” said Kristina Perez, a city spokeswoman.
She said festival activities like Home Hangouts, a barbecue cook-off, Patriotic Bike Parade, cannonball competition and visits from Prickly Pete will be streamed live throughout the day via the city’s social media pages.
The culmination starts at 9 p.m., with a 22-minute fireworks show.
“This is such a cherished, popular Peoria tradition that we had to find a way to keep it going even amid a pandemic,” said Marylou Stephens, Peoria Arts and Events Manager. “This year we are bringing a day of fun and a spectacular fireworks show to you to enjoy in the comfort of your own home, surrounded by friends and family.”
For more information, visit peoriaaz.gov/events.