The Jacksonville Rotary Club’s Independence Day Parade steps off at 10:00 am today after the 4th of July Parade was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s theme will be Hometown Heroes, which will feature Jacksonville Area first responders and front line healthcare workers. Parade Committee Co-Chair Cathy Jo Littleton-Wahl says that the parade will have honorary marshals in Jacksonville Police Chief Adam Mefford and Jacksonville Fire Chief Doug Sills. Wahl also says that Chief Mefford has asked to have Ruth Linear to ride as an honorary special guest of the Police Department.
Wahl says there are some major logistical changes to the parade this time around with the parade route being longer this year due to a new staging area.
“We’ve completely changed where we stage. We are going to stage the parade at the Morgan County Fairground, so that’s going to give people a lot of space to bring their floats and vehicles in. In the same vein of parade entries, we will have no walkers – no shoulder-to-shoulder walking down the road together. The other major piece is that we have extended our route from the Fairgrounds on the west side of town to all the way to the east. We will go around the square and remain on State Street and we will disperse over near Our Saviour Catholic Church. For my friends in Jacksonville, there is no reason to have to stand close to each other unless its with your immediate household or family to watch this parade.”
Wahl says there will be no candy thrown during the parade due to COVID concerns. She says that they won’t judge any floats or parade entries this year, and that everyone should just come to enjoy the parade safely.
The parade steps off from the Morgan County Fairgrounds at 10:00 am sharp this morning.