South Pekin Town Twisters, a volunteer organization, with the support of the village, will host a public fireworks display Wednesday evening at South Pekin Park that is expected to be as large as Pekin’s Fourth of July fireworks show.
The village of South Pekin has a population of between 1,100 and 1,200 people, but South Pekin Village Board President Chad Lamberson expects this year’s small community aerial display to be as big as Pekin’s show.
“Because we are a small village, this is the one event each year that we organize as a community,” said Lamberson. “So, we support it fully.”
Lamberson added that South Pekin’s fireworks display has grown over the years, and Wednesday’s event will be the village’s largest exhibit to date. He estimated the cost of the fireworks show at about $10,000. Community donations provided the majority of the funding.
“The village put some money towards the event, but about 60 to 70 percent of the aerial display was funded by the people of South Pekin,” said Lamberson. “That percentage will probably grow in future years, because vendor proceeds will go toward funding future events.”
South Pekin Town Twisters volunteer and former president Joyce DeBoer said enthusiastic community support for the event has played a large role in making it such an extravagant affair for such a small village.
“The volunteer fire department, the police department, the village board, local businesses, community volunteers and residents are all involved,” she said. “The whole community comes together to help with everything from planning to fundraising to making the food. It’s the culmination of a lot of time and effort to create an event for our entire community.”
South Pekin’s village fireworks display is always held on the Wednesday preceding Independence Day so as not to compete with Fourth of July festivities in nearby communities, said DeBoer.
The South Pekin Fire Department will prepare and sell food for the occasion, and a face-painting booth will be open from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The event will be from 4 to 10 p.m. at South Pekin Park, 209 West Main St., and the fireworks show will run from 9 to 9:30 p.m.