Shirland celebrates Fourth of July with fun and festivities


Patriotism shone as a detailed float rolled down the parade route, commemorating George Rogers Clark's capture of Kaskaskia during the American Revolution.

Kicking off the fourth of July celebrations, the Shirland Fireworks committee welcomed nice crowds to the Shirland Freedom Festival on Saturday, June 29, 2024. Music was heard from the talented band “The Dirt Road Rebelz.”

Food trucks, and craft vendors filled the grounds. Stunning fireworks filled the night sky.

The morning of the July Fourth began with a breakfast made by the members of the Shirland United Methodist Church.

Spectators lined the streets, ready to celebrate the Fourth of July. The parade which lasted 45 minutes featured fun, and historical aspects.

The Rockton American Legion Post#332 gave a 21 gun salute marking the official start to the parade. The Rockton American Legion Auxiliary threw candy as additional members rode in style.

The 2024 Parade Marshals were Brock and Marianne Eshleman, who rode in the back of a convertible. Marianne has served as the parade chair for many years.

Shirland Fire Auxiliary President Debi Wines rode with Shirland Fire Chief Greg Morrow.

Family was at the heart of many floats. Connie Gleasman and Mike Bost of Macktown Living History carried a banner featuring an ice cream social that is slated for Sunday, July 14 from 1-4.

Candy was thrown from various floats or vintage tractors, or eye-catching vehicles.

Roger and Judy Bates honored a family tradition of riding in a ‘Spirit of 76’ Case tractor. The Sprague family kept their tradition going too. Bonnie Gundry and her family rode on an International Turbo.

Other tractors included Farmall and John Deere.

Tri-River Tryers 4-H Club sent a message on the back of their float reading, "Our Roots Run Deep In The Community."

The Owen Blue Bonnets 4-H Club once again had a strikingly stunning float, featuring historical facts on an attached sign.

The Beloit Sky Carp mascot Poopsie walked in the parade. A Piskie number 12 car revved its engine, grabbing everyone's attention.

Numerous fire departments participated in the parade, also throwing candy from the trucks.

The band When Pigs Fly provided musical enjoyment, adding a great spark to the parade.

Adding to the day’s festivities a fifty-fifty raffle was held, with fifty percent of the funds going back to the Shirland Auxiliary who puts on the Fourth of July events.

At the parade's conclusion, members of the Rockton American Legion Post #332 gave a 21 gun salute followed by a smooth version of our National Anthem beautifully sung by Kerry Krebs, reminding everyone of the freedom we are afforded in the United States of America.

Patriotic flair was found on the Shamrock Construction float in the Shirland Fourth of July parade.
Macktown Living History was represented by Michael Bost and Connie Gleasman who held a banner showing details for an upcoming ice cream social. set for Sunday, July 14, 2024 from 1-4 p.m.
Large crowds of spectators lined the streets of Shirland during the 2024 Fourth of July parade.
The Sky Carp mascot Poopsie walked the parade route.
Kyler and Karlee, Mason, Isabella and Bailey, and their moms Amber and Kelsey dressed in red, white, and blue for the occasion.
The Owen Blue Bonnets added historical facts on a sign that was attached to their float. The French settled along the Mississippi River between 1673 and 1763.
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