July 4 Celebrations Return This Year

From staff reports

Fourth of July celebrations are returning to the region after a year’s layoff.

In Ste. Genevieve, a patriotic tribute to American Independence will be held at noon on Sunday, July 4, in front of the Ste. Genevieve Courthouse, weather permitting.

The program will include remarks on events that led up to independence being proclaimed 1776. Jim Baker will read parts of the Declaration, announced to the world that long ago day in Philadelphia.

The Milice de Ste Genevieve will provide an honor guard and a salute. Organizers suggest bringing a folding chair.

The event was traditionally held on Third Street, by the courthouse, like this one will be. The last year it was held in 2019, however, it was held indoors, at the DuBourg Centre, due to extreme heat.

Kaskaskia

Also Celebrating

Across the river, meanwhile, the 51st annual patriotic ceremony will be held at 1 p.m., July 4 at the Kaskaskia Bell State Memorial on Kaskaskia Island.

This year’s July 4 program will feature remarks by historian Stephen Kling of St. Louis, who served as editor and co-author of “The Great Northern War Compendium, co-author of The Battle of St. Louis, The Attack on Cahokia, and the American Revolution in the West,” and recently published “Cavalry in the Wilderness, a study of cavalry in the western theater of the Revolutionary War.”

The program will also remember Donald Welge for his work organizing and promoting the Kaskaskia Independence Day celebration for 50 years. Welge died in 2020.

Music will be performed by the Chester Municipal Band with vocalist Melody Colonel. A rifle volley from historic interpreters Les Compagnie Franche de La Marine at de Fort de Chartres will accompany the patriotic celebration. 

A plate lunch, sandwiches and other refreshments will be available. Visitors are asked to bring lawn chairs for the program.   

The Chester Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion, the City of Chester, area scout troops, the Kaskaskia Church Foundation, and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) are hosts of the Independence Day Celebration.