Though Memorial Stadium will still play host to Pekin’s annual Fourth of July celebration, there is one additional rule: stay off the field.

According to Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Bill Fleming, the field will be undergoing renovations to the playing surface, thus leaving that area off limits to patrons of the celebration. The field’s bleachers will still be open during the festivities.

“Typically about half the crowd will be in the stands and about half of them will be down on the field, they’ll bring blankets or lawn chairs to sit on the football field,” said Fleming. “Because of the work (being done), nobody is going to be able to sit on the football field or the track this year.”

Pekin High School Superintendent Danielle Owens said the field was being recrowned and also have new sod added in spots. The hope, she said, was that the field would be ready for football workouts at the beginning of August.

When asked about the overlap with field maintenance and the Fourth of July celebration, Owens said it was unavoidable.

“It’s just maintenance that needs to be done, so obviously the timing of it needed to be done in the summer,” said Owens.

The field is expected to be open for seating for next year’s event.

Gates for this year’s event will open at 7 p.m., and fireworks will begin at dusk, which Fleming estimated would be around 9:15 p.m.