The streets of downtown Dieterich were lined with people in lawn chairs some of them sitting under canopies to keep them and their children shaded from the sun on Thursday morning. Dieterich celebrated the Fourth of July with a variety of activities starting early in the morning with the Firecracker 5k run/walk.

Lisa Meyer of Newton has been coming to the Dieterich 4th of July Celebration for 15 years and her favorite activities are the pedal tractor pull, fireworks and the parade. "I love the patriotism," she said "it makes it feel like the Fourth of July."

Another long time attendee of the event is Daren Holste, also of Dieterich, who has been coming to the event for 20 years.

"It's a good small town parade and you get to see people that you haven't seen in a while," he said.

One of the activities that attracted the younger crowd was youth pedal tractor pulls on the basketball court. State Rep. Darren Bailey acted as the emcee for the event, which challenged children to pedal as far as they could across the basketball court to see who could go the farthest. The tractors and sleds were provided by Higgs Welding and Meyer Funeral Homes provided the prizes that were given out to participants and winners in each age bracket.

Sarah Fred of Green Creek who was watching the pedal tractor pulls to cheer on her two children reflected on her favorite parts of the event.

"We like coming to see our friends," she said. "Our favorite parts are the parade, kids activities and fireworks."

Alex Wright, who has lived in Dieterich his entire life, thinks that the event is the best part of the summer.

"The fireworks at night are great," he said. "Every year volunteers do a great job of pulling this event together."

Brooke Hoene of Teutopolis has been coming to Dieterich's celebration since she was little. She said that her favorite part of the event is the parade.

Sarah Campbell of Dieterich who grew up in Dieterich also enjoys the event.

"We love the community," she said. "People from all towns come here to celebrate."

One of the events that people could enjoy that was shaded was the Car,Truck and Tractor show which was held north of the pond in Dieterich's Liberty Memorial Park.

Lyle Kruger of Effingham attended with his Bugatti. Kruger said that he's been in the parade and car show several times.

"It's a good hometown celebration," he said. "This is Americana."

Dana Hinrichs of Terre Haute was also participating in the car show. He said that it was his first time coming to the Dieterich event and that he tries to go different places within two hours of his home for car shows.

Hinrichs was slightly disappointed by the lack of entries, but said that there were a lot of competition shows this weekend that probably affected that.

Crystal Reed can be reached at or by phone at 217-347-7151 ext. 131