ST. CHARLES, Mo. – A popular Fourth of July celebration in St. Charles that was canceled last year because of COVID-19 has returned!
Riverfest returned this weekend as part of the Fourth of July celebrations. The parade was back on historic Main Street after being among the many COVID cancelations last year.
People lined Main Street to take in the sights and sounds.
The Ellis family from St. Charles County was excited to celebrate Independence Day in a way that was independent of COVID concerns.
“With a full year of being trapped inside and not being able to go to any type of entertainment venues, see your loved ones and friends, we’re ready to celebrate Independence Day,” Chris Ellis said. “We’re ready to get out, enjoy, say hi, you know? Slap hands, get some candy.”
His wife, Abby Ellis, added, “I’m ready to let the kids go out and have fun, let us go out and do things as a family, show the kids what’s fun on the 4th of July.”
Olivette resident Mary Ellen Gilmore came with her son and grandkids.
“I think we need normalcy. We just need to get back to normalcy,” said Mary Ellen.
Her son, Logan Wagoner, explained, “We’re a bit isolated on social media. You’re forced to sort of choose a side I think at times. Then you can come out here and see you know just people watching a parade. It just feels a bit normal.”
The St. Charles Jaycees have put on the Riverfest Parade for years.
Organizers are thrilled to be back after some challenging times dealing with the pandemic.
“I just think it’s just important to get back to life. Anything that stops moving, you know it’s not going to grow anymore,” said Maddy Berger, St. Charles Jaycees.
The Riverfest Parade is part of the three-day Riverfest festival in St. Charles.
Like the parade, the festival celebrating the Fourth of July was also canceled last year due to COVID.
St. Charles Mayor Dan Borgmeyer says Riverfest is among the first big events in St. Charles to make a comeback.
Borgmeyer tells us while COVID is still a concern, it is critical for the St. Charles economy to have events like Riverfest return.
Borgmeyer says he is going to let people make their own decisions about issues like wearing masks.
“I want them to come down, I want them to be safe, I want to have a great time, and I want them to take whatever precautions they feel are necessary to be in large crowds,” he said.
The vast majority of people we saw at the Riverfest Parade were not wearing masks.
The city of O’Fallon, Missouri also held a parade this morning as part of its Fourth of July celebrations.