City of Owensboro officials are looking for an alternative to Thompson-Berry Park & Soccer Complex for part of the city’s Independence Day festivities.
Community members have been calling and emailing city officials to voice their concerns that the fireworks scheduled for Friday at Thompson-Berry could be detrimental to the animals housed at the Owensboro Humane Society, at 3101 W. Second St., which is adjacent to the park, said Tim Ross, Owensboro director of public events.
On June 25, city officials announced that they would be taking a more creative course from their traditional fireworks display and would, as part of its “Healthy at Home” fireworks display, opt to launch from eight locations as opposed to the city’s annual fireworks show at the riverfront.
The celebration will begin at 9:15 p.m. Friday, with fireworks being launched from Thompson-Berry Park, the Owensboro riverfront, Moreland Park, the Owensboro Sportscenter, the former Owensboro Health property on East Parrish Avenue, Centre Court tennis complex on Bittel Road, Southern Little League on South Griffith Avenue, and the former GE property on Old Hartford Road. The fireworks will be launched from all locations simultaneously.
For the humane society, the proximity of the fireworks would be a major issue for the roughly 80 to 100 animals that are currently housed at the facility, said Cindy Davies, humane society office manager.
“We are really hoping that they will move it,” she said. “We have a mix of cats, dogs and horses and there is no way that we could move them safely in that short frame of time. We have some dogs with heart issues undergoing treatment and they need to be relaxed and in a calm environment. Our cat room overlooks the park and that kind of trauma would require a great deal of work after the fact to bring those animals back to where they could socialize. Animals don’t deal with that type of environment very well so we are hoping that they will be able to move it. We would appreciate it greatly and we know they are considering it. I think given the opportunity, they will do the right thing.”
Given the concern raised by the community regarding the display being held at Thompson-Berry, the city is working in the coming days to try and find a different spot to alleviate community concerns, Ross said.
“We are currently looking for other locations as an alternative to Thompson-Berry,” he said. “We have had some concerned calls and emails from community members regarding the shelter and we have also had quite a few folks that have shared their excitement about having fireworks at Thompson-Berry. They are valid concerns and we understand that the shelter houses larger animals.”
Aside from issues that have stemmed with Thomson-Berry, the overall community response to the city’s Independence Day solution to meet with the state’s social distancing guidelines has been positive, Ross said.
“Overall it has been a great response,” he said. “We have gotten a lot of positive feedback for creating a creative response that will allow the community to still enjoy fireworks.”
Jacob Mulliken, 270-228-2837, email@example.com