Central Illinois city celebrates Independence Day

By Celsy Martindale

July 4, 2013 Updated Jul 4, 2013 at 9:36 PM CDT

WEST PEORIA, Ill -- One central Illinois city continues to demonstrate its 4th of July spirit, year after year. Floats, marching bands, and fire engines; sounds like a typical Midwestern parade, but there is one big reason why the West Peoria Fourth of July Parade stands out from the rest. It's the longest running Independence Day parade in central Illinois. It's patriotic theme is what keeps this event a float.

"Oh, I think it brings a lot of people in,” said Martha Foster, a West Peoria resident. “This is all of my family through here. So this way I think we're doing two things, enjoying the parade and celebrating at the same time."

"The kids, they get lots of candy and have a lot of fun, you know, it's more for the kids,” said Daryl Buttrum a Spring Bay resident.

While this event is a good time to celebrate with family and friends. It's also a good time to honor our servicemen and women.

"I'm hoping that they're happy because we're celebrating all the hard work that they have done for us and for our country," said Nichelle Ritterhoff a West Peoria Resident. “We appreciate it.”

"I really feel for the guys who are overseas fighting for our freedom and I really appreciate all that they do,” said Buttrum.

The parade ran for more than an hour, but spectators didn't seem to mind. They see the parade as a way for the community to get together.

"Everybody's really happy, everybody speaks and says hello to everybody, and getting to see the parade and hanging out with your friends, it's just a great day," says Ritterhoff.

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