Streator, it was announced Thursday morning, this year will have to go without what is annually its biggest party.
The Streator 4th of July Celebration committee announced via its Facebook page that this summer's event will not be held due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.
"After weeks of monitoring and many discussions with our team and local health officials, we are heartbroken to announce that the Streator’s Fourth of July Celebration will be canceled for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic," the committee wrote. "We had high hopes that we would able to push through and see this event take place this year, but unfortunately we are just not there yet.
"We know that, at this point in time, this is the right call and is in the best interest of our festival goers, sponsors, vendors, volunteers and everyone involved. We are confident that we will come out of this stronger in 2021."
This year's event was slated to run from July 3 through July 12 and feature a parade, carnival, children's activities, the Run for Glory 5k, a food and beer garden, an emergency vehicle show, fireworks and musical acts including headliners L.A. Guns, Joe Nichols and Buckcherry.
Those same musical acts and possibly more are slated to return for the 2021 event, which will run July 3-11. Ticketholders can keep their tickets for the 2021 shows or request a refund.
"We will be updating everyone on 2021 dates, artists and all other announcements as they come in," said the committee. "We pray that everyone stays safe during the COVID-19 outbreak and that we can all get back to normal sooner than later."
Committee member Randy Dominic told The Times, "The committee is heartbroken and I'm already seeing people try to say this is a political issue. We aren't going to be allowed to have mass gatherings until phase five and there's a huge liability that goes into that. We need to put health and safety above everything else."
Dominic said they are going to have every musical act scheduled for this year in 2021 with some yet-to-be-announced additions to make it the biggest show they've ever had.
"We don't want this to be our last year because of the pandemic," Dominc said. "We rely heavily on sponsors and with the pandemic going on we are afraid sponsorships could go down."
The pandemic has also limited their ability to do fundraisers like dinners and other gatherings.
Dominic encourages people to buy Liberty Dollar and progressive 50/50 tickets, as that is where they get a majority of their money to put on a show.
"We really appreciate the community's support and we hope everybody understands that this was a decision we couldn't avoid," Dominic said. "Everyone is heartbroken because of how many hours we've already put into this."