Part of enjoying a Fourth of July fireworks display is finding the perfect spot to watch the colorful extravaganza unfold.
The Lawrence Jaycees are sponsoring a 30-minute display starting at 9:45 p.m. on Thursday, and Lawrence residents are scouting the best vantage points.
Owen Lehmann, a member of the Jaycees, has helped with the show since he was a kid working with his father. Now, at 33, Lehmann will be one of the members lighting the fuses.
He named Watson Park as the best place to be when the pyrotechnics begin. Though there have been issues in the past with people not getting a clear view of the fireworks because of the trees in and around the park, Lehmann said the Jaycees have addressed this.
“We’ve increased the size of our fireworks,” he said. “So you should be able to see them go higher.”
He also said there are a number of other good viewing spots within a two-mile circumference of the launch zone on the bank of the Kansas River.
“One unique thing about our show is that there are places to go for families, and then other niches that everyone can go find,” Lehmann said.
Veteran fireworks watchers in Lawrence have their own special places to watch the show, though some are cagey about it. “I’m not saying,” Jimmy Rogers insisted when asked his favorite vantage point via Facebook. “I do not want my spot overrun!”
Whether you prefer lying on a patch of grass or dancing through the show at a rooftop bar, here are a few favorite places to watch from:
• Watson Park, 727 Kentucky St. This is the site of an all-day celebration sponsored by the Lawrence Originals restaurant group, with food and live music starting at 4 p.m.
• Constant Park, near the corner of Tennessee and West Sixth streets
• Burcham Park, 200 Indiana St.
• The Nest on Ninth, on top of The Oread, at 1200 Oread Ave. The venue will host live music from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
• Campanile Hill above Memorial Stadium on the Kansas University campus
• Along the Kansas River Bridge
Don't think about adding to the evening's pyrotechnics; except for this professional display, fireworks are banned in the city.
A Lawrence ordinance allows novelty items such as party poppers, snappers, snakes and glow worms, sparklers, toy caps and toy smoke devices, but any other fireworks must be used on private property in unincorporated areas of Douglas County.