Changes to Charlottesville's July Fourth Celebration

By: Althea Paul
By: Althea Paul

June 26, 2006

The Fourth of July is just around the corner and organizers for Charlottesville's celebration are preparing for the event, which includes some changes this year. They are changes that the Safe Fireworks Foundation says will help make it even better this time around.

Fireworks, the American flag, and McIntire Park - all signs of the Fourth of July in Charlottesville. For 2006 organizers are hoping a little tweaking will make the celebration even better, starting with the dazzling display.

"Great fireworks show, which we have compressed from about 45 minutes into about 26 minutes, and not only have we compressed the show, we've not only taken all those rockets and moved them in, we're not losing one rocket, we’ve even added rockets. More rockets, bigger rockets, less time. It should be a spectacular show," said one of the founders of the Save the Fireworks Foundation, Ray Caddell.

Come next Tuesday, the park will be filled with thousands of people. Many of them kids. That's the reason the group also wanted to add more activities for the little ones this year.

"[There will be] moon bounces and bungee jumps. We also have a special kid stage this year that will feature Betsy Q, which is a very popular local entertainer who does a lot of the elementary schools around town," said chair of Save the Fireworks, Dave Phillips.

Organizers are also planning on more buses to pick up and drop off people, especially after the celebration is over.

"We're working very hard to make that a little smoother this year. More buses, a little better signage for buses, some really stanchions and velvet rope type line things to help people with buses," said Caddell.

These are all things organizers hope will make July Fourth extra special in Charlottesville.

Another addition will also include a dunking booth, and they are looking for dunking volunteers.

Some things that have remained the same include a ban on any personal fireworks, alcohol, or pets at the event.

The park opens at 4 p.m. and the fireworks show will start at about 9:15 p.m. The Save The Fireworks Foundation is already starting to raise money for next year's event. For information on how you can donate, call (434) 220-0799.

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