Today is the Fourth of July, a federal, state, and local holiday so all government offices are closed today and there is no home mail delivery.
Communities across our area will be celebrating the holiday, with events in Centralia, Salem and Mt. Vernon, as well as Farina, Patoka and Nashville.
Centralia started their celebration early, with the Veterans Parade at ten o’clock this morning.
Boy Scout Pack and Troop 260 won first place in the float category with their entry, “Let Freedom Fly-21 Flag Salute,” and Kaskaskia College won second place in the float category with its entry, “Honoring those who have Served.”
In the mechanized category, Meyer Family Pride took first place with their entry, and the Daughters of the American Revolution Prairie State Chapter took second place.
The Centralia Elks received first place in the marching category with their large hand carried American flag. Also in the marching category was a little girl riding a decorated bike. Dana Renée Watkins took second place for her entry.
And the Centralia High School Marching Showcase was honored with a special award for its accomplishments this school year.
Today is the final day of the Centralia American legion homecoming in Fairview park. A car show will be featured this afternoon and the carnival will be open.
The celebrations will be capped off at 10 o’clock tonight, with a fireworks display.
In Salem, the fireworks display will be over the Salem reservoir at nine o’clock tonight and in Mt. Vernon festivities begin at five o’clock tonight at the airport, with fireworks scheduled for 9 o’clock. There will be concessions, a DJ,and a Miss July 4th Pageant.
In Farina, fireworks are set to begin at 9:15 tonight, following an afternoon parade, games, bingo and a cake walk, along with entertainment.
Pratt Cemetery in Patoka will be hosting a fourth of July celebration on boat dock road, lunch and dinner will be served and there will be a cake walk, raffles, kids games and music.
Nashville will start its fireworks display at dusk tonight in the Nashville Memorial Park. The display will be preceded this afternoon with entertainment on the tennis courts as part of the Sunset on the Square music series, which was moved from the courthouse due to the fireworks.
And if you miss the fireworks and celebrations today, Irvington will host its celebration on Sunday, with a 9:30 a.m. community church service at Fortmeyer Park, followed by a chicken dinner, inflatables for the kids, barbeque cook off and a car show. That will all wind up with a fireworks display at dusk.