From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Feb. 1, 1987:
In late January and early February, volunteers were already meeting in Lawrence to discuss the city's yearly Independence Days festival, to be held July 3-5. The event had been held at Burcham Park for the first time the previous year, and the group talked about ways to avoid problems of the 1986 fireworks show, including poor seating. More of the park was to be used in the coming year's festival so that food booths could be moved away from the river, making more room for seating with a good view of the pyrotechnics show. The Jaycees were in favor of keeping the show at the park and not moving it back to Kansas University's Memorial Stadium, where it had been held prior to 1986. Liability insurance costs had increased, and other insurance mandates had included a 500-foot barrier to be installed around the launch area. If it had been held at KU, this would have meant that people could not sit in much of the stadium.