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Crowds gather to celebrate the Fourth of July in Roanoke

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While many Fourth of July celebrations are canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some smaller communities have decided to continue on.

On Friday night the streets, parking lots, and fields of Roanoke were filled with people from across Central Illinois anxious to enjoy their fireworks show and other festivities.

From fresh lemonade, vintage cars, and of course hot dogs and hamburgers, the people of Woodford County said they could not be more excited to continue their annual tradition.

Village President Michael Smith said with low COVID-19 case numbers and the public's desire to feel a sense of normalcy, their Village Board made the decision not to cancel the event.

Many who attended said after months of social distancing, this was a community gathering worth waiting for.

"A lot of smiles, a lot of smiles. The vendors that are here are happy to be here. We're happy to have them. It's just a good night for the people to celebrate here in Woodford County." said Michael Smith

"I'm really excited. The social distancing has been really hard for me because I'm a social guy so it's fun to be out and about with my friends." said Sye Vanmiddlesworth who was working the lemonade stand.

"It's heartwarming to be able to be back and interact as a family again." said Richard Schumacher with Geo's Pizza.

Kaitlin Pearson

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