Kaskaskia, Ill. (KFVS) - The annual Liberty Bell of the West Patriotic Celebration July 4 will be held this year at Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Site’s recently rebuilt Main Shelter House because of flooding on the Mississippi River.
Normally this celebration takes place at the Kaskaskia Bell State Memorial.
“The road to the Kaskaskia Bell State Memorial has been covered with water since April due to flooding,” said Site Superintendent Chester Wingerter. “The bell remains at Kaskaskia, a testament to the spirit of the first European congregation in Illinois. In the meantime, we look forward to celebrating the Fourth of July at Fort Kaskaskia’s shelter.”
The relocated celebration will begin at 1 p.m. July 4 at the Fort Kaskaskia shelter, which overlooks the Mississippi River.
During the celebration, the Chester Municipal Band will entertain, with local VFW, American Legion, and Scout troop participants presenting the colors and a salute.
Dr. Michael Fogerson, pastor of First Baptist Church, will offer an Invocation and Benediction.
The French Marines of Fort de Chartres will fire a salute to freedom, with all attendees invited to participate as honorary bell ringers.
Featured speaker for the celebration will be David MacDonald discussing “The Decline of Kaskaskia, the Rise of Chester.” MacDonald completed his doctorate in history at the University of Minnesota in 1972, specializing in ancient history. He taught at Illinois State University from 1971 until his retirement in 2005.
A light lunch will be offered by the Kaskaskia Church Committee at approximately 11:30 a.m.