The Lawrence Journal-World will provide free bus service to today's activities at Burcham Park.
Ready to party?
The Lawrence Jaycees will celebrate the Fourth of July today with music, family activities and, of course, the annual fireworks extravaganza by the Kansas River.
"We've got to celebrate the birthday of our country," said Rick Bellinger, who has been organizing the fireworks show for 15 years. "It should be a good time."
"Anyone who's ever seen it should know it's a good quality show, and I would encourage everyone to come out and watch," Bellinger said.
Today's celebration begins with live music at 3 p.m. in the park, at Second and Indiana streets.
United Way member agencies will sponsor family-style games at the park that include a ping-pong toss, giant soap bubbles, face painting and cookie decorating.
Entertainment will be provided from 7:30 p.m. to dusk by the Alferd Packer Band.
"Although the Packer Band won't be nearly as loud and we aren't as bright, we think the humor and lively music of our band will complement the fireworks," said Mike Yoder, a band member.
Since parking will be scarce near the park entrance, those attending the day's activities are encouraged to use free shuttle bus transportation from the downtown being provided by the Journal-World. The first 1,000 riders also will receive a U.S. flag.
The bus service will begin at 3 p.m. and will operate until the fireworks begin at dusk, about 9:30 p.m. The buses will complete the circle between the downtown parking lots and Burcham Park every 15 minutes.
After the 45-minute fireworks display, people can reboard the buses, which will be parked facing north at Second and Indiana streets. The buses will then depart for the downtown as they fill with passengers.
Those who take the buses to the park can leave their vehicles in the downtown city parking lots on Vermont and New Hampshire streets. Shuttle buses to the park can be boarded from any of 16 passenger pickup points.
All but one will be at the city parking lots on Vermont and New Hampshire streets. The bus stops each will be marked with yellow signs.
The buses will travel south on Vermont, making stops on the west, and travel north on New Hampshire, making stops on the east.
Public parking lots on Vermont are: on the east side of Vermont at Seventh Street; next to the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt.; on the east side of Vermont at Eighth Street; on the east side of Vermont between Eighth and Ninth streets; on the east side of Vermont between Ninth and 10th; on the east side of Vermont between 10th and 11th; and on the west side of the Community Building, 11th and Vermont.
Public parking lots on New Hampshire are on the west side of New Hampshire between Ninth and 10th streets; at the southwest corner of Ninth and New Hampshire; at the northeast corner of Ninth and New Hampshire; on the east and west sides of New Hampshire between Eighth and Ninth streets; on the west side of New Hampshire between Seventh and Eighth streets; and on the west side at Sixth and New Hampshire.
Bellinger estimated about 5,000 people will turn out to watch the fireworks from Burcham Park, from the Kansas River Bridge and other areas around the city.
If it rains, the fireworks show will take place at dusk on Friday, he said.