Like some many events and celebrations this year, the Coronavirus Pandemic has canceled the annual Fourth of July Celebration in Dieterich.

An announcement on the Dieterich Village Facebook page confirmed the sad news. The Dieterich Fourth of July Committee concluded the annual celebration with its parade, food stands, games, music and fireworks could not be enjoyed in the traditional way at Liberty Memorial Park.

The cancellation was based on potential health risks for the large crowds flocking to the events at the park and along the streets of the Dieterich – the Village draws visitors from several communities to enjoy the patriotic festival. It is doubtful the Illinois reopening plan would allow large gatherings by the first week of July. The Restore Illinois plan has entered Phase 3 on May 29 but limits on crowds would continue even with the next phase. Phase 5 would mark the end of crowd limits on public events and it is doubtful that even certain regions of the state would reach that level by July.

Another factor in the decision by the July 4th Committee is the dependence on volunteer organizations for the annual celebration. Each organization involved considered the health risks to their elderly and immune compromised members; liability, insurance; health department or food regulations; and financial risk to their organization when coming to the cancellation decision.

Lighting up the sky with colorful pyrotechnics is off the schedule as well. Each year the fireworks are funded by the proceeds raised by volunteer organizations who operate the porkburgers stand, shake-up stand, beer garden, bounce house, raffle and so many other venues. Due to loss of fundraising at Liberty Park this year, shooting off fireworks this summer could eliminate fireworks for 2021.

Other funding options are being considered, but for now the fireworks are also canceled. Volunteers are also working on alternative activities for this summer so look for more updates. One bright spot from this cancellation is Dieterich plans to expand its Fourth of July Celebration in 2021 with the Feudin’ Hillbillies coming to town on July 3 at Liberty Memorial Park.