Ste. Genevieve’s celebration of the Independence Day on Thursday, July 4, will include a patriotic ceremony sponsored by the Ste. Genevieve Chamber of Commerce, a concert by the Ste. Genevieve Muncipal Band, and a fireworks show presented by the local fireworks committee.
The day’s events begin with the patriotic Fourth of July celebration at noon in the DuBourg Centre, at the corner of Merchant and Third streets.
The ceremony will begin with the posting of colors by the VFW honor guard, the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of the National Anthem. This will be followed by a reading of excerpts from the Declaration of Independence by Rodney Scherer, followed by a gun salute to honor the historic document.
Following a welcome from Ste. Genevieve Mayor Paul Hassler, State Representative Dale Wright, will offer the keynote address. Musician Stormy Bennett will play a tribute to the armed forces. Those killed in the service to our country will be honored.
The event will conclude with the singing of additional patriotic songs, and the retirement of colors by the VFW Honor Guard.
This is a free family friendly event and is handicap accessible.
During the evening, activities move to the area around Pere Marquette City Park.
The Ste. Genevieve Municipal Band will play its annual patriotic concert beginning at 8 p.m. at Yanks Field, along North Main Street/Little Rock Road.
After the sun goes down, the fireworks show will light up the sky over the park.
KASKASKIA EVENT MOVED TO FORT SITE
The annual Liberty Bell of the West Patriotic Celebration, usually held at the Kaskaskia Bell State Memorial, will instead take place this Fourth of July at Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Site’s recently rebuilt Main Shelter House.
The relocation is due to flooding on the Mississippi River.
The patriotic celebration will begin at 1 p.m. at the Fort Kaskaskia shelter, which overlooks the Mississippi River.
During the celebration, the Chester Municipal Band will play patriotic selections; local VFW, American Legion, and Scout troop participants will presenting the colors and a salute; Dr. Michael Fogerson will offer an invocation and benediction.
The French Marines of Fort de Chartres will fire a salute to freedom, with all attendees invited to bring bells and participate as honorary bell ringers.
The featured speaker for the celebration will be David MacDonald discussing “The Decline of Kaskaskia, the Rise of Chester.” MacDonald completed his doctorate in history at the University of Minnesota in 1972, specializing in ancient history. He taught at Illinois State University from 1971 until his retirement in 2005. He has published three books and more than 50 academic articles on ancient history.
A light lunch will be offered by the Kaskaskia Church Committee at approximately 11:30 a.m.
To get to the Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Site, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, turn west off Illinois Route 3 seven miles north of Chester onto Shawneetown Trail, follow the signs to 4372 Park Road, 62241.
(Information from Bob Mueller, Ste. Genevieve Muncipal Band director John Mooney, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.)