Fireworks

Heavy rains and muddy grounds might spell the end for this year's fireworks show in Palestine.

Heavy rains might postpone, or even cancel, the city's fireworks show planned for Wednesday at Steven Bennett Park.

“We're at the mercy of the weather and Mother Nature,” City Manager Leslie Cloer told the Herald-Press Monday. “No one wants to watch the fireworks in the rain. And we're not sure we can get the fireworks truck safely to the blasting zone over the wet ground.”

The blasting zone, a safe-area designated by the Palestine Fire Department, sits away from the crowd, in a field at Steven Bennett Park.

Soaked by seemingly endless rainfall this year, the ground has become marshy. Fireworks equipment trucks, as well as firefighting apparatus, might not be able to safely navigate the muck and mud.

“[Tourism and Marketing Manager] Mary Raum is speaking with officials at American Fireworks today,” Cloer said. “Once we receive their input, and the fire department's assessment, we will have a clearer understanding of how we will move forward.”

The planned show was the result of a $22,000 donation by local businesses, including Elliot Dodge and Chrysler, All-Star Ford, and Ben E. Keith.

Private donors stepped up, after the city, with road repairs, water system failures, infrastructure costs, and a tough budget season looming, had unofficially decided to cancel this year's fireworks show.

“The city should not go without fireworks,” Fernando Varela, owner/manager of All-Star Ford, told the Herald-Press.

Cloer said she hopes the 20-minute show will be able to go on as planned. All the permits are in place, she said, and alternative parking for residents has already been coordinated.

Further information on road-blocks, traffic control, and parking will become available, Cloer said, after officials decide whether the show will go on.

“I am grateful to all the sponsors for allowing us to hope for this event,” she said. “We will make an announcement as soon as we hear from all the parties involved.”