(Photo by J Swygart)
With special precautions in place, Decatur's Fourth of July fireworks event — the 20th annual — got a green light this week from Mayor John Schultz.
"Right now, we working with Tim Bombka (of TND Fireworks of Decatur) to get ready," Fire Chief Les Marckel said Monday. "We'll probably wet the area down a couple of time on Tuesday, then again in late afternoon on Wednesday. We didn't much rain (over the weekend), but the area has greened up a little. What worries me is that with the storm, the mulch pile and brush out there has gotten bigger."
The fireworks are exploded in Riverside Park, the open area across Jackson St. from Riverside Center, a site which is near the city's compost area.
The night of the fireworks, "we'll have several trucks and (firefighters) there — more than usual," Markel noted.
"We're asking people to be extra cautious, about smoking and everything, out there,"Marckel added, concerning Wednesday's fireworks show, "as well as with sparklers and the like."
No bikes, dogs or personal fireworks will be allowed at Wednesday's event, "and these rules will be strictly enforced," chief organizer Adam Eguia said.
The celebration will get under way at 6 p.m. with music provided by Rick TeBoe. The American Legion Color Guard will arrive at 8:15, then Decatur Mayor John Schultz will welcome the crowd.The main address, by Adams Circuit Court Judge Fred Schurger, will follow.
Bridget Fravel will sing the National Anthem, followed by a prayer by Jan Smith, chaplin of the local Legion. After a 21-gun volley and the playing of Taps, Teboe will return with music.
TND Fireworks will begin firing as darkness settles in, likely between 9:45 and 10 p.m.
In addition to the American Legion Post 43 Color Guard, the Geneva VFW Post 6751 and the Berne American Legion Post 468 Color Guard will participate. Honored guests will be veterans of the Iraq War and all other local veterans, according to Eguia.
Major sponsors again this year are the VFW's Men's Auxiliary, VFW Post 6236 and West End restaurant.
Eguia stressed that no bikes, dogs or personal fireworks will be allowed at the event, "and these rules will be strictly enforced."