Charleston hosts 31st Annual RWB Days


Rob Le Cates

Charleston’s Fourth of July parade started in the square with multiple different groups distributing candy and showing representation like the county’s Democrat and Republican groups, Charleston High School’s cheerleaders, multiple church groups, the local martial arts class and even clowns riding dirtbikes.

Rob Le Cates, Editor-in-Chief

Hundreds of people gathered in Charleston to celebrate Monday’s 31st Annual Red, White and Blue Days.

The event brought local and distant communities to Charleston to partake in the Fourth festivities.

Many diverse events were offered including a pet parade, chalk art competitions, a $3 all-you-can-eat ice cream bar, cover band concerts and a foam pit.

The Fourth started at 6:30 a.m. with the Habitat for Humanity 4-mile Run/Walk and ended at 10:00 p.m. with fireworks at the Coles County Airport.

From 7-11 a.m. the American Legion hosted a Pancake Sausage Breakfast.

The Coles County Arts Council Chalk-In started at 9 a.m. with more than 10 participants of all ages.

There were several individual drawings and a few groups.

At 9:30, the pet parade, sponsored by the 4-H Dog SPIN Club, started. More than 20 pet and owner duos walked in the parade through Morton Park. Typical pets in attendance like dogs and cats, but it didn’t stop some from bringing their unique pets out.

A few bunnies, a turtle, a snake and a bearded dragon walked alongside the dogs and cats in the parade.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. various attractions were offered to those of all ages including vendors, inflatables, a foam pit, a fire hose sprinkler and an all-you-can-eat ice cream bar.

Children ran back and forth from the foam pit to the fire hose sprinkler to rinse off, then seconds later were back in the foam pit.

Various shouts of being “eaten by the bubbles” could be heard through joyous giggles and laughter.

The Fourth of July parade started at 1 p.m. at Charleston Square and ended at Morton Park.

Representation from many groups in the Charleston community walked and performed in the parade, like the Charleston community band, Charleston High School’s cheerleaders, the county’s democratic and republican parties, multiple church groups and even clowns riding dirtbikes.

Following the parade, the two honorary guests rang the Liberty Bell at Morton Park. The two guests were Dr. Robert Blagg and Charleston Chamber of Commerce President Doug Abolt.

Following the bell ringing, Charleston’s Post 93, performed the 21-gun salute and taps.

Abolt couldn’t attend, so the Charleston High School national anthem singer rang it for him.

Events subsided until dusk at the Coles County Airport for the firework display.

Families lit sparklers and threw POP-ITS for entertainment until the fireworks started at around 9:15 p.m, lasting about 30 minutes.

Rob Le Cates is a sophomore journalism major. He can be reached at 217-581-2812 or at [email protected]