Wednesday's fireworks, threatened after more torrential rains created less-than-optimal ground conditions, will go on as planned, City Manager Leslie Cloer told the Herald-Press Tuesday.
“We have received confirmation from American Fireworks,” Cloer said. “The July 3rd display will go on, rain or shine.”
The fireworks display is sponsored by local businesses, including All-Star Ford, Elliot Dodge and Chrysler, and Ben E. Keith. Businesses donated $22,000 to cover the cost of fireworks and overtime pay for city employees, after they learned the city, facing acute financial pressures, had planned to cancel this year's event.
Heavy rains in recent months have caused a few changes to the event.
The wet, marshy ground has made parking on the grass at Steven Bennett park impossible; parking at the YMCA, Story Elementary, and the First Palestine Baptist Church will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
No bleachers will be set on the soft ground; city officials recommend bringing lawn chairs, as the ground is too wet for blankets.
Moody Street will close roughly five hours prior to the event to facilitate setting up the blast-zone. Those wishing to park at Story Elementary will have to access the lot via East Palestine Avenue, by either Caplin Street or Bowen Drive.
Shuttle bus service, supplied by the East Texas Council of Governments, from the Palestine Mall to the park and back, will begin at 7:00 p.m. A 28-passenger van, and an ADA compliant van for those with disabilities, will be available.
After the show, only ETCOG vans may turn left out of the YMCA, school, or church parking lots. All other traffic will be forced to turn right.
The 20-minute fireworks display is estimated to start between 9:00 p.m. and 9:15 p.m.
“A special thanks, again, to our sponsors for making this event possible,” Cloer said. “And special thanks to city employees, who will work to keep us safe before, during, and after the event.
“I would also like to thank our residents for their flexibility. They realize we have no control over the weather.”