Pecatonica reflects this Memorial Day weekend
By Chris Johnson
This weekend is a special one for residents and village caretakers in the western Winnebago County community of Pecatonica. Memorial Day brings the 149th annual remembrance parade with the streets expected to be lined with spectators and those who make it a practice to stand, pause and reflect, as the colors of freedom pass.
They stand often, as the Stars and Stripes are regularly affixed upon the shoulders and many floats of participants in the tribute celebration. However, the State-recognized parade of admiration won’t be the only reason people are expected to gather at 2pm for Memorial Day this year in Pecatonica.
In 1819 the State of Illinois became what it is today. It was formed, in idealistic settings to be a committee of leaders, working to find a common cause and pushing towards making life better for residents and taxpaying-citizens. Sometimes agreement wasn’t always reached. Working for individual causes sometimes stepped in the way of progress, statistics seemed to support. On occasion though, pause was given by the collective and ways were found to come closer together, for a common cause, when the timing was right.
This year is special for the Land of Lincoln as it celebrates its bicentennial birthday with groups of people working together to help make memories for reflection for others to look back on, in another 50 years. Various committees have been and are compiling lists and putting together memories covering some of the greatest history associated with joining the Union, well before the west was won. Focus on the 200th birthday celebration is expected to be relatively apparent at this year’s Springfield State Fair.
In Pecatonica, they celebrate as well. 150 years ago the area formerly under State and Township control broke loose and became independent. It received its charter and history began. Now, in 2019, its time to celebrate as the community prepares for a lot of former residents, friends and visitors to come back and take part in the Sesquicentennial celebration.
On Friday, May 24, Third St., west of Main will be closed to vehicle traffic, as will the parking area just south of the corridor to Reed Street. Fundways of Illinois Carnival will be taking up some space with games and rides occupying the area through Sunday night, May 26. Those who wanted to ride had options available regarding pre-purchase at Village Hall for a discount on wristbands for personal use.
The carnival will operate on Friday from 5 to 10 p.m. and will resume on Saturday at 1 p.m. Events on Saturday, in addition to the carnival operating until 11pm, include a multi-band street dance and concert, which starts at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 25.
Individual artists and bands who will be spending time on the main stage on Main Street include local open mic hosts Brandon Burfield and Ross Kendall, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. It is expected that the Sesquicentennial pageant representatives will be introduced around noon on Saturday.
At 1:30 p.m, local band LetSinger takes the stage with plans to perform until 4 p.m. At 4pm the All-Star Jam Band, consisting of many area residents take the stage until 8 p.m. The Stevee Nix Band will close the night, starting at 8 p.m. and running until midnight.
Sunday services will be offered at the various worship centers for those in for other activities, including participation in the village’s Sesquicentennial celebration. Sunday night closes with fireworks, which, reportedly, haven’t been introduced to Pecatonica residents or community members for decades.
Parking for the fireworks will be at the Winnebago County Fairgrounds. 2019 Pecatonica Sesquicentennial Committee Members will be on site to assist with parking and additional questions.
Monday Memorial Services will be held at Sumner Park prior to the Pecatonica Memorial Day Parade helping to wind down the weekend of planned celebration in the village of Pecatonica.

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