Just like any other year, St. Charles residents lined Main Street to see the Fourth of July Riverfest parade, crowding under awnings to escape the occasional drop of rain.
Unlike prior years, the City of St. Charles cut Riverfest's budget by $30,000. Though the carnival previously went from Friday through Monday, this year, most Riverfest events were held only on Monday, the Fourth of July.
Brian Weis attended Riverfest and said he thinks the fact that the majority of the festivities were held on only one day instead of three will negatively affect the city and its business owners.
“When people have opportunities to go to other municipalities and take advantage of multiple days, I think that’s going to have a negative effect on the overall turnout,” Weis said.
Another festival goer, Ron Noell of St. Charles, said he liked having more than one day of fireworks like last year, but he sees why the city had to scale back the event.
“One thing I noticed is that they aren’t doing the fireworks every night," Noell said. "Which is understandable because it is expensive, I understand that. In the economy, I guess they have to cut costs somewhere, so I guess it’s not a bad thing to do.”
Linda Triplett said having two days of fireworks was more convenient for her.
“I like that they had fireworks twice last year at the fair because we had friends that came in from out of town, and it was nice that we were able to bring them both nights running," Triplett said.
"So that’s what I enjoyed about it. This year, they did cut back on the fireworks, but with the accommodations with the river and what I’ve seen so far, they’ve done a good job under the conditions. So at the moment, I’m happy so far,” she said.
This year, those who wanted to sit and watch the fireworks or musical acts had to bring their own chairs. Some residents said they did not realize the city provided seating last year.
Gemini Parker said the lack of seating did not bother her.
“It’s much appreciated because then you have to worry about getting seating,” Parker said. “You just bring your own.”
Many residents seemed glad the carnival was moved from Frontier Park to Riverside Drive. Jaclyn Bates said, with recent rains, she was glad to be out of the mud.
“I’m happy not to be stepping in puddles,” Bates said. “Oh my gosh, I didn’t even look at the river! It’s really high, so this is a fine location.”
Nearly 30 vendors set up booths at Riverfest.
Following is a list of this year’s parade float winners.
- Most Patriotic Float: Commemorative Airforce
- Best Musical Float: The St. Charles Municipal Band
- Best in Show: My Handywork Interactive Art Studio
Tango Argentina also won the award for the most patriotic booth. For more information on Riverfest, see our previous article here.