Rushville Republican

Letters to the Editor

July 2, 2013

A history of the July 4 parade

To the people of Rush County:

Imagine you have been in charge of a community event for over 25 years. You nurtured it and watched it grow, and it became very popular. Your event did so well that other people asked you to organize similar events for them. Now all of a sudden people in positions of power tell you this isn’t your event, it has never been your event, and it belongs to another organization. How would you feel?

That is exactly what happened to me at the city council meeting on June 4. The events of that meeting were well reported but something was left out. That is that the Mayor and three members of the city council kept insisting that the Fourth of July parade belongs to the Chamber of Commerce and always has. Because they insisted so emphatically that it was not my parade to organize I became angry. I realized I couldn’t convince them otherwise so I left.

I have heard from a great number of people who agree with my stance on the Fourth of July parade that I need to get the true history of the Fourth of July parade and fireworks out to the public. So I am doing just that. Following is a brief history of the Fourth of July fireworks and parade in the Coons’ era.

In 1981 and 1982 there were no fireworks, the skies over Rushville were dark on the Fourth of July. In 1983 people started asking if someone could bring back the fireworks. My husband, George, who had previously shot fireworks with the Jaycees and shot the show at Lake Santee, said, “I think I can do this.” In one month he raised $2,500 from local businesses and Fourth of July fireworks returned to Rush County. There are a great many people who have helped with this project over the years and we are grateful to all of these people.

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