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Archive for Sunday, June 29, 1997

FIREWORKS DISPLAYS TO LIGHT UP SKIES

June 29, 1997

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With Topeka stepping back from a Fourth of July fireworks display this year, counterpart shows on the Kansas River and on Perry Lake are expecting thousands more to step forward.

"This is the biggest one we've ever put on," said Bob Best, owner of the Lake Perry Yacht & Marina and organizer of the fifth-annual lake festival.

A Topeka display will be held Saturday at Shawnee Lake, but the Fourth will belong to Lawrence and the surrounding area.

Officials at both Perry Lake and Lake Perry Yacht & Marina Inc. are expecting a crowd of 60,000 to 70,000 people for the Independence Day fireworks show at the lake. Last year boasted between 30,000 and 40,000 revelers.

The Perry Lake festival will begin at 10 a.m. Friday.

Food booths, crafts and four live bands will liven the atmosphere throughout the day. Skiing demonstrations, a boat parade and a paddle-boat giveaway are also scheduled. In addition, a B-1 bomber will fly overhead about 7 p.m., followed by skydivers at 8 p.m.

The fireworks display will begin about 10 p.m., and will be underscored by music simulcast on Topeka's 97 FM.

"Lots of things going on," Best said.

To find the party, just head for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers offices at the north end of the dam.

Organizers will be taking donations and selling commemorative T-Shirts and buttons. A $5 parking donation is requested.

"If we can't get some contributions, we can't keep doing this every year," Best said. "The fireworks alone cost $18,000."

The Lawrence Jaycees will be holding their annual fireworks extravaganza along the Kansas River. Organizers expect several thousand onlookers.

The July 4 evening program is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. at Burcham Park, with live music and concessions. The fireworks will begin around dark, between 9:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m.

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