Owensboro’s annual Independence Day fireworks display on July 4 will include the traditional fireworks show at the city riverfront and three other displays spread across town.
The “All American Fourth of July” show will feature four fireworks displays beginning at 9:15 p.m. This year, fireworks will be launched from the riverfront, the Owensboro Sportscenter/Moreland Park, Shifley Park/Centre Court and Owensboro Warehouse Leasing on Old Hartford Road at the site of the old GE plant.
The plan resembles the one that the city used last year when the fireworks displays were spread across town to prevent a large crowd from gathering at the riverfront because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We had a tremendously successful response” last year, Owensboro Public Events Director Tim Ross said. “The community as a whole loved it.”
Having sites around town allows people celebrating Independence Day at home to view the fireworks displays, Ross said.
“There are lots of people who don’t want to be part of a big crowd downtown,” he said.
The staging areas are spread out so they can be seen across the city. “We certainly wanted to cover each of the areas of town. There’s still going to be overlap,” Ross said. “You’ll be able to see multiple fireworks.”
The riverfront celebration will begin at 5 p.m. in Smothers Park, and will include live music until the fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m. The fireworks downtown will be launched from barges in the river, but the other three launch sites will be closed to the public for safety reasons.
“We encourage (people) to stay in their neighborhoods” and watch the fireworks from home if they don’t plan to go to the riverfront, Ross said. Music will be broadcast to coincide with the fireworks on WBKR, 92.5 FM.
The city’s model for last year has been adopted in other areas. For example, the city of Louisville used three locations to launch fireworks during last month’s “Thunder Over Louisville.”
Having multiple sites adds more to the cost of the July 4 event, but the city received some sponsorship to help cover the cost. Ross said it’s possible the city will have multiple launch sites for future Independence Day fireworks displays.
James Mayse, 270-691-7303, firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: @JamesMayse