Orion Fireworks Festival set for July 3

Mindy Carls
After a year hiatus due to the pandemic, a fireworks show is back on this summer.

For more than 20 years, the Orion Fireworks Festival has entertained spectators with a lighted parade and a fireworks display.

After missing 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 edition will be Saturday evening, July 3. Spectators should bring lawn chairs for all events, including the fireworks.

Events include:

• 5:30 to 9 p.m. Food vendors on the 13th Street side of the student parking lot at Orion High School.

• 6 to 8 p.m. Live music by Mo’s Garage on the front lawn west of the high school.

• 8:45 p.m. Lighted parade leaves the west end of the Orion Middle School parking lot to go directly across 12th Avenue onto Eighth Street. After a block, the parade will turn right to go east on 11th Avenue. At the high school, the lighted entries will take 13th Street for one block to 12th Avenue. The parade will end at the middle school.

• After the parade, spectators will have time to reach the high school before the fireworks begin. Spectators will have access to the practice field east of the high school, but for safety reasons spectators will not be able to use the bleachers at Charger Field.

Parking will be available at Orion High School. Drivers are asked to respect No Parking signs on the streets. Handicapped-accessible parking and viewing area will be provided.

The parade line-up will be from 7:45 to 8:15 p.m. at the middle school. No one can throw candy from moving vehicles, but walkers may distribute candy.

Families, organizations and businesses can enter the parade.

Cash prizes will be awarded, including $100 for the overall winner and $50 for first place in each category, including business, Jeep, children’s entry, ag entry, rec vehicle (golf carts, quads and ATVs) and general.

For more information about parade entries, phone Deena Johnson at (309) 526-3366 or 781-1964. Entry forms, available of the Orion Fireworks Festival’s Facebook page, may be mailed to her at Deena Johnson, P.O. Box 664, Orion IL 61273.

Donations fund the festival. Cash and spare change may be left in containers at Orion IGA, Casey’s and other Orion businesses. To donate to the festival through VENMO, search for @orionfireworks.

The rain date is Monday, July 5.

Although its activities are not part of the festival, St. Paul Lutheran Church on 11th Avenue is having a pork chop dinner at 5 p.m. July 3. The Orion Community Band will perform outside the church under the covered entryway to the east. Spectators are asked to bring lawn chairs.

The church is on the lighted parade route.