EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – The Red, White, and Boom firework display along the Illinois River may be over, but for clean-up crews, their work was only beginning on Tuesday.
A firework display years in the making, Monday, thousands lined the East Peoria and Peoria Riverfronts for the return of Red, White, and Boom.
“I think it was special this year because look, we haven’t all been able together as communities for the last three years for an event like this. So there’s a lot of emotion evolved,” said Mike Wild, VP of Midwest Communications.
Wild is an organizer for the Fourth of July fireworks, and said despite weather concerns, there was a decent turnout.
He said while the number of people on the Peoria Riverfront appeared to be down, the opposite could be said about the other side of the river.
“I think it was bigger on the East Peoria side, there were so many other areas to spread out over there,” Wild said.
As the large crowds exited the riverfront, trash was left behind. Tuesday morning, volunteers with the East Peoria Green Team picked up trash and sorted recyclables.
“The city, when they take the recycling, it’ll actually be a good clean load for them. It won’t have any diapers or this, that, or the other thing,” said Bob Jorgenson with the East Peoria Green Team.
Jorgenson said recycling not only helps the city, but also the environment.
“10 years, they say if we don’t get things together, we’re going to be in a lot of trouble environmentally. Recycling is a very small step,” Jorgenson said.
As the clean-up following this year’s event started on Tuesday, planning for next year’s is already underway.
“We actually do start thinking about it now. What’s next year will look like, what do we want to try to accomplish,” Wild said.
The Peoria Park District is responsible for cleaning the Peoria side of the riverfront. Tuesday, workers spent some hours picking up trash, but stopped early due to the extreme heat.
Crews are expected to finish cleaning up by Wednesday at noon.