Joe Marino has been the heart and soul of so many Rockford celebrations. If it wasn't for Mr. Marino, so many parents would not have seen their children's eyes light up with wonder on the 4th of July, and Rockford would not have been home to a spectacular patriotic celebration that draws crowds by the thousands.

Joe Marino has touched countless lives. He has worked tirelessly to provide entertainment to Rockford families, and now it's our turn to do something for him.

It broke my heart when I saw this yesterday, but our beloved Mr. 4th of July is nearing the end of his life. Joe Marino's family is asking us to pray for peace as he begins his grand finale.

Mr. 4th of July, thank you for a lifetime of memories. Thank you for giving us a cherished tradition to share with our children. Thank you for being an AWESOME Rockfordian.

Godspeed, and rest assured, your legacy will live on.

Catch Lil Zim on ‘Q98.5 Mornings with Lil Zim & JB’ on Q98.5 from 5:00 a.m. to 10 a.m. Follow her on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook