Taft Homes celebrate Independence Day with cookout

By WEEK Producer

July 4, 2013 Updated Jul 4, 2013 at 9:37 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- The Peoria Housing Authority hosted a Fourth of July picnic for Taft Homes residents Thursday afternoon.

Families were treated to hot dogs and burgers provided by the PHA.

There was a bouncy-house for children as well kites and other games.

For the third year in a row, police will be in the housing development throughout the day and night.

Disturbances the last two years shifted the focus away from family fun and employees hope the picnic will help everyone remember what the holiday is about.

"We wanted to put a positive spin on it for the children particularly, and everyone else to try to make us one big happy family and create a good relationship between the police and residents and myself and the PHA with the residents," said Taft Homes Assistant Manager, Laura Boone.

Volunteers helped score a basketball tournament for the children, and a resident offered to provide music.

Boone said she plans to make this an annual picnic for all future July Fourth celebrations.