Bloomington Fourth of July parade gets 3-week prelude: College-Walnut corridor study

Street closures for this year’s Fourth of July parade were approved this past week by Bloomington’s three-member board of public works.

The route is the same one as last year, following a thin rectangle starting at 10th Street and College Avenue, heading south to Kirkwood Avenue, then east to Walnut Street, and north on Walnut back to 10th Street.

The street closures were routine enough that the board approved the item as a part of its consent agenda on Tuesday, after getting briefed at its Monday noon work session.

It was Bill Ream, the community events coordinator for the city’s parks and recreation department, who gave the briefing.

Ream highlighted the fact that as of last Monday (June 5), there were still spots open for entries. Ream said about two-thirds of the 50-60 available entries had been filled. Groups who want to enter the parade can find the form on the Fourth of July page of the city’s website.

It’s the second year in a row that the parade has used the College-and-Walnut route. A previous route followed a good portion of Kirkwood Avenue—but Kirkwood has been partly closed to car traffic for the last few years, as a part of Bloomington’s outdoor dining program for downtown restaurants.

The parade course follows the same one-way direction that regular traffic uses on the two major roadways. Next week, the city planning staff are hosting two meetings about the future of the iconic Bloomington corridor.

On Tuesday, June 13, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in city hall a public meeting will be held to discuss the existing conditions on the College-and-Walnut corridor.

On Thursday, June 15, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in city hall a public meeting will be held to discuss design concept ideas for the corridor.

Based on the meeting information packet for the board of public works this past week, the city is expecting around 8,000 people to attend the Fourth of July parade and about 1,000 people to participate in the parade itself.

Ream told the board that Bruce Wilds Security would help with traffic control at intersections as the firm has for several years. The payment to Bruce Wilds for parade-related work runs between $2,000 and $3,000 each year, based on the city of Bloomington’s online financial information system.