2024 Peru fireworks location still undecided, mayor says

Move to Veterans Park still in discussion, but city leaning that way

Boaters watch as fireworks burst overhead during the Monday, July 3, 2023, display on the Illinois River in Peru.

Less than 48 hours after the last boom of Peru’s fireworks display illuminated over the Illinois River along Water Street, social media discussion continued about where next year’s show will be.

In an interview after Wednesday’s meeting, Peru Mayor Ken Kolowski said there was talk prior to this year’s July 3 display of moving the show to Veterans Park, but the city held off, because it didn’t want to spring the move on citizens.

We have a year to decide. We have time to talk about it, listen and make a decision.

—  Peru Mayor Ken Kolowski

Kolowski said the city still is leaning toward moving the 2024 July 3 fireworks to Veterans Park, but it’s not finalized.

“When I ran for mayor, I said listening to citizens was going to be the key to success,” Kolowski said. “We have a year to decide. We have time to talk about it, listen and make a decision.”

Kolowski said Monday’s fireworks on Water Street were a success. He commended Adam Thorsen, director of Parks, Recreation & Special Events; Police Chief Sarah Raymond and Fire Chief, Public Works Director Jeff King, for their preparation and work during the event. There were no issues.

The mayor said seeing how communities, such as Princeton and Utica, put on their fireworks served as some inspiration for the idea of moving them to Veterans Park. Both of those communities host their fireworks displays in parks. Veterans Park would be a wide-open area where families can bring blankets and activities can be set up prior to the show.

Kolowski also said the hill alongside Water Street has been a possible deterrent for visitors. Shuttles have been run the past two years to make sure spectators can get to and from the fireworks on Water Street.

“The goal of all our events has always been to look for ways we can improve,” Kolowski said. “Everything is still on the table.”

Riverfront Bar and Grill, located on Water Street, posted to Facebook in support of keeping the fireworks along the riverfront.

“We are beyond humbled to have such a fantastic outpour of family, friends and community that came out to celebrate what we’ve been told is our last hurrah on Water Street for the Third of July celebration,” the business posted. “With the community’s support, we hope the city will change their mind as this is a tradition that has been going on for many years.”

No public comments about the fireworks were made online or in-person during the city’s meeting Wednesday.