Fireworks

The city of Owensboro scheduled July Fourth fireworks at eight locations Friday night, including a barge on the Ohio River.

Perhaps the top floor of the RiverPark Center’s parking garage offered Owensboro’s best view of Saturday night’s fireworks show.

The crowd atop the parking garage could view the show from five locations around the city.

To alleviate crowding and to promote physical distancing during the worldwide pandemic, the city staged displays at eight locations, including the riverfront, Moreland Park and Jack C. Fisher Park.

Alex Bivins and her family drove up to the top level of the RiverPark Center’s garage to watch the show. They live near the former GE plant and thought about watching that show from their home.

“It’s just not the 4th unless you’re at the river,” Bivins said.

She was thankful city officials came up with a coronavirus-friendly plan and kept the show.

“So many things have gotten canceled this year. This is one thing that can still go on. It’s a yearly tradition, and it’s a way for the community to come together,” Bivins said.

The city’s scattered effect seemed to work well.

Smothers Park was not wall-to-wall people like usual.

Throughout Owensboro, it was easy to view fireworks from one direction or another.

A family stood at the corner of Robin Road and Griffith Avenue, watching a display to the north.

Another family at South Griffith Avenue and St. Marys Avenue turned south to view the show at Southern Little League.

Owensboro was like a giant surround sound theater with sparkling skies and echoing booms.

Neighbors and friends gathered at Dylan and Jessica Clark’s house on Lewis Lane. They cranked up the music and feasted on hot dogs and chips.

The group of 13 had a perfect view of fireworks from Southern Little League, which is just a couple blocks away.

Jessica liked the city’s plan. “This way, you don’t have to fight the crowds at the river.”

Darren Leggett grabbed some fried chicken from Walmart and headed to Moreland Park. By 8 p.m., he was parked near the tennis courts on the park’s east side.

Leggett usually goes to the riverfront to watch the annual fireworks show. He was thankful he wouldn’t have to battle traffic after the event ended this year.

“This is a really good idea,” he said. “It keeps people safe, and they can still enjoy the fireworks.”

Tim Ross, the city’s public events director, said positive posts on social media showed how much residents liked this year’s fireworks display.

“It was exciting to see how everyone embraced the idea and really enjoyed a unique way we were able to do the show this year,” Ross said.

Renee Beasley Jones, 270-228-2835, rbeasleyjones@messenger-inquirer.com

Renee Beasley Jones, 270-228-2835, rbeasleyjones@messenger-inquirer.com

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