Hundreds gather for “White Trash Bash” boat event

National News

East Peoria, IL (WMBD)–Around 200 boats filled with people showed up for the yearly White Trash Bash on the Illinois River. While law enforcement is concerned about the spread of COVID-19, they say there’s not much they can do.

Perfect temps and perfect river levels means a big turnout for the annual White Trash Bash.

Nearly one thousand people gathered in an alcove along the Illinois River.

Mike Johnson, director of the Fond du Lac Park District commented on the party:


“We encourage them to practice social distancing. I don’t know how likely that’s going to be in this environment.”‘

Johnson says tthe event has been thrown for 10 years but law enforcement has only been on standby for a few years.


“This isn’t a sanctioned event. We started having law enforcement present about five years ago because we will get a lot of fights on the beach. It’s the perfect element for a problem, you’ve got beautiful weather, a lot of alcohol and anywhere from 600-1000 people,” he said.

The all-day party consists of drinking.

Dan “Murph” Murphy attended the White Trash Bash and said, “I’m just ready to tear it down.”

“I thought we were going fishing, but I guess we’re going there. It’s going be a good time hanging with friends, having a good time,” he said

Johnson said there is little his officers can do if party-goers are not wearing masks or social distancing.


“Marine law enforcement is very limited in the tri-county area, it’s our agency and the conservation police, so we do the best we can with the man power we have and we try to have people voluntarily social distance, but at the end of the day, the goal is to get through this event and get everyone home safe, he said.

Murphy and his friends say they aren’t concerned about potentially catching the virus.


“Definitely not. Not at all,” Murphy says.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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