A guide to the summer’s fireworks shows in La Salle, Bureau, Putnam, surrounding counties

Pyrotechnics begin Saturday, June 19

For fireworks enthusiasts, last summer was a dud.

Pandemic guidelines led to the cancellation of some annual fireworks shows in the La Salle, Bureau, Putnam and surrounding counties area.

But this summer expects to go off with a bang, as almost every community’s annual fireworks shows has returned — some with some significant changes.

Notably, Streator’s fireworks were moved from the Saturday of Independence Day weekend to Sunday, July 11, and the location was moved from Streator High School to Anderson Fields Golf Course with the uncertainty of COVID-19 guidelines.

In Spring Valley, the fireworks show received a $10,000 boost from the city to improve the quality of the display that caps off its annual Summer Fest on Saturday, June 19, at Kirby Park.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Office of the State Fire Marshall issued a notice earlier this week reminding individuals, community groups and organizations sponsoring fireworks displays in Illinois, it’s important to be sure fireworks vendors have the required state licenses and certificates issued by the IDNR and the Office of the State Fire Marshal prior to planned fireworks shows.

With that notice, the agencies also encouraged residents to leave the pyrotechnics to the professionals.

The Illinois Explosives Act requires anyone who purchases, possesses, uses, transfers, stores or disposes of explosives, including display fireworks, must have an explosives license and explosives storage certificate issued by the IDNR. Licensing and storage requirements administered by the IDNR do not apply to consumer fireworks.

Anyone possessing, using, transferring or purchasing display fireworks without a valid IDNR individual explosives license or storage certificate is violating Illinois law and could incur penalties. A violation of the Illinois Explosives Act can be a Class 3 felony, with a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. In addition, the IDNR can assess administrative fines for violations involving display fireworks and other explosives.

Emergency responders are reminded to contact IDNR and the OSFM immediately with reports of personal injury or property damage resulting from the use of explosives, including display fireworks.

“Numerous communities have canceled shows again this year, which could be temping for individuals to hold their own backyard displays,” said Illinois State Fire Marshal Matt Perez. “Fireworks are dangerous and should only be used by trained individuals. Fireworks not only could injure those shooting them but could also start fires in neighborhoods. Remember, fireworks should only be used by professionals.”

Approved consumer fireworks are regulated by the OSFM and are permitted only in villages, counties, and municipalities that have passed ordinances allowing such displays. Consumer fireworks may be purchased and displayed only by adults who have obtained permits from their local jurisdiction. Handheld fireworks, including firecrackers, roman candles and bottle rockets are not approved for sale or use in Illinois.

Healthcare facilities reported 163 people were injured by fireworks during the 2020 seasonal reporting period, that is up from the 126 injuries reported in 2019. Approximately half of all injured people suffered multiple injuries. Of those injured, 120 were men. More than half of all injuries (59%) occurred to persons 22 or older. Children’s injuries in the 11-16 age group almost doubled (23) from the previous year of 12.

Schedule of 2021 summer displays:

Saturday, June 26

La Salle: Dusk downtown.

Mendota: Dusk.

Friday, July 2

Utica: Dusk at Carey Memorial Park.

Saturday, July 3

Minonk: 10 p.m.

Morris: Grundy County Fairgrounds

Peru: Dusk on Water Street

Princeton: Dusk at Zearing Park

Sandwich: Dusk.

Sunday, July 4

Hennepin: Dusk

Henry: Dusk on Illinois River.

Leland: Dusk behind Leland School.

Sheridan: Dusk at Sheridan School

Walnut: Dusk

Friday, July 9

Ottawa: Dusk at Ottawa High School. (Fireworks were rescheduled from July 4)

Saturday, July 10

Marseilles: Dusk.

Sunday, July 11

Streator: Dusk at Anderson Fields Golf Course, 1901 N. Bloomington St.

Saturday, Aug. 14

Wenona: Dusk.

If you know of a fireworks display in the area that is not listed, contact Derek Barichello at dbarichello@shawmedia.com to be included to the schedule. Shaw Media Local News Network will rerun the schedule near Independence Day weekend.

Derek Barichello

Derek is a Streator High and University of Illinois graduate. He worked at the Albany-Herald in Albany, Ga., and for Sauk Valley Media in Sterling, before returning to his hometown paper. He's now news editor for both the NewsTribune and The Times.