CHAMPAIGN — Consider this entertainment for your July 4 cookout and a way to help the Champaign County Freedom Celebration Committee cover the cost of the fireworks.
Pre-recorded music of local bands will be played for six hours July 4 on three radio stations, and listeners will be given a number to text and a website for online donations to help defray the cost of the fireworks that evening, said Margaret Givens, treasure of the freedom celebration committee.
“People are doing barbecues on the Fourth of July, and we’re hoping people will be inspired to donate,” she said.
The music will be available from 3 to 9 p.m. July 4 on FM stations WHMS (Lite Rock 97.5) and WKIO (Classic Hits 107.9) and AM station WDWS NewsTalk 1400. After that, Givens said listeners will be able to hear music on the radio coordinated with the fireworks display.
The fireworks will begin about 9:15 p.m. from University of Illinois Lot E-14, just west of State Farm Center. There won’t be any on-site entertainment or food vendors this year.
In all, the fireworks display runs about $60,000, and the entire cost is covered by donations, Givens said.
In previous years, volunteers would pass around collection cans for donations during the fireworks. But this year, due to the lingering pandemic, viewers are being asked to watch from remote locations and to avoid gathering in crowded areas.
Givens said local businesses and corporate sponsors typically cover half of the cost. Donations collected by volunteers at the event, though, have been light in recent years.
It’s important to collect enough money this year to have something in the bank for next year’s event, she said. The cost next year will run higher if the parade and other activities are added back into the celebration.
To donate online, go to july4th.net.