Fired up over the Fourth of July

Monday, June 20, 2005
Fireworks exploded over Cape Girardeau on Independence Day last year.

Both Cape Girardeau and Jackson are putting the focus on family for this year's Fourth of July celebrations.

Jackson has a full schedule of events, beginning at 8:30 a.m. and running throughout the day.

Cape Girardeau's Libertyfest 2005 kicks off with a parade at 6 p.m.

In Jackson, where the Chamber of Commerce plans the event with the help of the city, organizers have planned bigger attractions during the day.

For the first time, the Fourth of July celebrations at the city park will include kiddie rides throughout the morning and afternoon.

As in years past, car enthusiasts will line up their hot rods for a show, beginning at 10 a.m. Area bands will perform throughout the day. The municipal band will play at 8 p.m., followed by the fireworks at 9:30 p.m.

"We've always had really good fireworks in Jackson," said Jackson Chamber of Commerce executive director Marybeth Williams. "It's always unbelievable the number of people that come watch."

In all, the event will cost roughly $12,600, including about $10,000 for the fireworks, much of which will paid for by the city after the board of aldermen offered support for the festivities at last Monday night's aldermen meeting.

In Cape Girardeau, the Libertyfest Parade begins at 6 p.m. and will feature bicycle riders, baby strollers, walkers, pets in wagons and any other nonmotorized mechanisms. Those interested in entering the parade may register at the Bank of Missouri branches or at 5:30 p.m. the day of the parade at the Convention and Visitors Bureau. The parade marshals will be the winners of the Libertyfest coloring contest, which was featured in the Southeast Missourian Jr.

"Our focus is on providing a patriotic, old-fashioned family event," said Marsha Toll, chairwoman for the celebration committee.

In addition to the parade, patriotic music performances will add to the Fourth celebration.

The River City Players will perform "Tywappity Tales," the recreation of three American Indian stories at Port Cape Girardeau restaurant from 6:30 to 7 p.m. And the Southeast Story Swap invites aspiring and amateur storytellers to tell their stories to the public at the arts council from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Additional entertainment opportunities, including balloon artists, face painters, Shriner clowns, antique cars, fire engines, a dunking booth and an inflatable jump room will be available from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

The Cape Girardeau festivities will cost around $22,000, including $15,000 for the fireworks display, which starts at 9:20 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Bank of Missouri, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Evening Optimist Clubs and roughly 25 other smaller sponsors.

As for personal fireworks, Cape Girardeau and Jackson have identical ordinances that place restrictions on purchasing and firing fireworks.

Cape Girardeau and Jackson vendors may begin selling fireworks beginning June 27. The cities shortened the sales period last year.

Fireworks may be discharged from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. June 27 through July 3 and until midnight on the Fourth.

Individuals 17 years and younger may not purchase, possess or discharge fireworks unless under the direct supervision of a parent or guardian.

Also, no bottle rockets or "aerial device" which use a straight, rigid stick to it may be sold, possessed or discharged within city limits. Ordinances also prohibit discharging fireworks within 100 feet of a gas station, within 300 feet of where fireworks are sold or within 600 feet of a hospital, church or school.

In Jackson, no alcohol, dogs or fireworks will be allowed in the park.


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