Archive for Wednesday, July 3, 2013

In search of the best spot to watch Lawrence’s Fourth of July fireworks

July 3, 2013


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

Abe and Jake’s Landing, 8 E. Sixth St. A viewing party that will serve as a fundraiser for Ballard Community Services starts at 5:30 p.m.

• 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.


Eric Ryan 4 years, 5 months ago

Agreed...the first part was no big deal, but the second part really was not answerable. These questions are quickly going to get annoying.

bender 4 years, 5 months ago

I'm boycotting any articles that require these stupid mini-surveys.

MaxBlue80 4 years, 5 months ago

Seems like there's never good parking for any events in Lawrence. Maybe I'll just listen to the booms from my patio this year...

elliottaw 4 years, 5 months ago

You won't miss much, the displays here are just sad

FlintlockRifle 4 years, 5 months ago

Who was the city head honcho that put the kipe on shooting ""fire crackers"" here in town, this is just part of being a American citizen. When I was a wee lad I would build forts and bridges to ""blow up", and we had 4" firecrackers, M-80, Cherry Bombs, , guess we didn't know how great a time we grew up in and the amount of freedom we had as a goofy kid, and yes they all still have all there fingers, just a few years ago (65) eeeh gads

riverdrifter 4 years, 5 months ago

Remember when a gross of cherry bombs was $30?!

fatarnie 4 years, 5 months ago

Yes, miss the days when you could blow stuff up legally.

cowboy 4 years, 5 months ago

Yes the good ole days. We lived on 27th just west of holcomb , every family spent bucks on fireworks and we had a daylong event with a huge finale. As Sy from duck Dynasty says " It was like Nam man ". The kids had a ball and the parents usually had to dodge a few stray shells but it was awesome. Now we can light up snakes ! Boo Lawrence ! Off to the country to have a real July 4th party. Happy semi independence day.

kernal 4 years, 5 months ago

Until you've spent half your adult life (and I emphasize adult) in a state that had a ban on fireworks for fifty years, you don't realize how obnoxious it is for people to start shooting fireworks three days before and a week after the 4th of July.

And, yes, I shot fireworks to my hearts content as a kid, but did it out in the country since the city where I lived banned them. As a teenager, I asked my parents why we couldn't shoot fireworks off in town since others did. They told me part of their job was to raise me to have respect for others and the laws that benefitted the majority. Democracy lesson 101.

arch007bak 4 years, 5 months ago

I'm probably going to regret saying this but...I have yet to have to do one of these surveys everyone is complaining about and I check the site multiple times a day.

Deb Engstrom 4 years, 5 months ago

I grew up in a state where fireworks were illegal (Iowa). Now realize how nice it was!!

PhilChiles 4 years, 5 months ago

Just watched the display from right on the banks of the river and it was great. Sure, I've seem displays that had more going on, but I really like being able to enjoy individual fireworks, instead if having 5 or ten go off at the same time. Plus I didn't have to pay a dime, so anyone who gets too whiny might wanna consider throwing in a few bucks if they feel like things should be different.

tomatogrower 4 years, 5 months ago

They were good fireworks, but if the Jaycees were told their fireworks would go above the tree line in Watson Park, they need to get a refund. Some of them did, but we will be moving to the river next year. Thanks for the show, and it was a great party. Funny and good band.

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