Archive for Friday, June 22, 2012

Bigger bangs: July 4 show to use larger fireworks

June 22, 2012


As area communities prepare to celebrate Independence Day, Lawrence is planning similar festivities to those in recent years — but with larger fireworks.

Lawrence’s fireworks show is scheduled to start about 9:45 p.m., depending on cloud cover and other weather conditions, said Rick Bellinger, a past member of the Lawrence Jaycees who is in charge of setting off the fireworks. Fireworks will be shot from the Kansas River levee and should be easily visible from Watson and Burcham parks, Bellinger said.

He expects the show to last about 30 minutes.

“The shells will be bigger this year than they have been in years past,” he said.

This year, fireworks organizers decided to abandon the smaller three-inch shells, which often didn’t climb high enough for people in Watson Park to see them, in favor of four- and five-inch shells, Bellinger said.

Matt Llewellyn, owner of 23rd Street Brewery, said the Lawrence Originals Restaurants are sponsoring the show along with the Lawrence Jaycees, and the restaurants will host activities in Watson Park earlier in the day.

Live music will begin about 3 p.m., with food vendors setting up before then, Llewellyn said. Beer will be available, and several children’s activities are planned, including a dunk tank and face painting.

“We’re kind of expecting this year to be the biggest ever because of the Fourth being on a Wednesday,” Llewellyn said. “People won’t necessarily be out of town yet.”

Shooting off most kinds of fireworks is illegal inside the Lawrence city limits. A few novelty items, including sparklers and party poppers, are permitted inside the city.

But in unincorporated Douglas County, fireworks can legally be set off on private property from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. July 1 and 2, and from 7 a.m. to midnight July 3 and 4, though bottle rockets are banned throughout the county. Fireworks may be sold in the unincorporated parts of the county July 1-4.

Other area cities also plan fireworks displays on July 4, including:

Baldwin City

After a two-year absence, Baldwin City is planning a fireworks display that will begin about 9:30 p.m. or 9:45 p.m. The fireworks will be set off from the hill west of the Baldwin Elementary School Intermediate Center, 100 Bullpup Drive.


Fireworks will begin about 9:30 p.m. at Eudora Middle School, 2635 W. Church St. Gary Scott, director of parks and recreation, said residents should have the best view of the fireworks from the middle school’s parking lot.

De Soto

Food vendors will set up at Riverfest Park, 33639 W. 79th St., starting about 7 p.m. The band “Prairie Wine” is also scheduled to perform at 7 p.m., with fireworks beginning at 9:45 p.m.


Residents can watch fireworks from the bleachers at the Stan Braksick Sports Complex on Bulldog Boulevard. The show is scheduled to begin about 9:45 p.m.


A fireworks show is scheduled to begin at dusk at Forest Park, 600 N. Locust St.


John Kyle 5 years, 11 months ago

Are they going to charge admission to Burcham like they have in the past?

tomatogrower 5 years, 11 months ago

When have they ever charged admission? Even in Watson park; although they don't allow you to bring your own coolers, it's free to go in the park. They just want you to buy food from them. They are paying for the bands and firework displays after all. Did they start charging at Burcham park when the festivities moved to Watson?

MarcoPogo 5 years, 11 months ago

I don't remember Burcham ever charging for the fireworks show. Was there even an entry fee for Independence Days?

Ragingbear 5 years, 11 months ago

Because if there is one thing that we need when we are in dire financial straits it is a larger budget for decorative explosions.

MarcoPogo 5 years, 11 months ago

Guess it's a good thing that groups are sponsoring it.

Ragingbear 5 years, 11 months ago

Too bad that the money couldn't be used for something more useful. Like food for the starving, education, housing, infrastructure repair or funding for the gutted state arts program.

MarcoPogo 5 years, 11 months ago

Groups like the Jaycees, Eagles, Lions Club, etc. already do those types of things. What's wrong with them putting together a little entertainment for the city as well?

cowboy 5 years, 11 months ago

remember when you could have a july 4th party in lawrence....leaving town again this year

Liberty275 5 years, 11 months ago

How about not wasting tax dollars and let citizens celebrate with their own fireworks?

Martin Shupert 5 years, 10 months ago

yeah, and so what if a few kids lose their fingers.

asixbury 5 years, 10 months ago

If they're responsible with the fireworks, they won't. Can't stop stupid.

roadrunner 5 years, 11 months ago

Jaycee's used to take/ask for donations toward fireworks for the next season... There was never a charge that I was aware of. When it was at Memorial Stadium they charged admission, that I do remember! Way better in the stadium. Miss that!!!

irvan moore 5 years, 11 months ago

the 4th of july went to heck in this town when they took it away from the stadium. those were the good old days, sitting on the hill, kids running everywhere, the smell of reefers wafting in the breeze, yeah, those are some good memories

FlintlockRifle 5 years, 11 months ago

Yes they did charge for the Independence Day, you bought a ""Badge or Button"" that had Independence Days Lawrence Kansas and the year, I have one from that FUN TIME ----Can someone tell me why they stopped this?? Lots of venders and craft people, I still have an oak bucket a blacksmith made for me.

JackMcKee 5 years, 11 months ago

My neighborhood looks like a war zone on the 4th, regardless of the city ban. Never seen a single police cruiser while it's going on, either, even though about 10 of them live within a mile.

William McCauley 5 years, 11 months ago

There should never be a cop there to start with! This America, where we celebrate our Independence Day and freedoms..... that is the freedoms we use to have before busy bodies started sticking their noses in everyone else business and bitching about the way people celebrate Independence Day, to the point some anal retentive bunch decided to ban/outlaw one of our most treasured past times, blowing up crap.

Do away with the city law and let's get back to living in the land of the free!

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