Florissant’s Independence Day celebration features a lot of work behind the scenes in order to make the event pop
By Charlotte Beard
On Independence Day the City of Florissant will host its annual celebration starting at 7:30 a.m. on the grounds of the James J. Eagan Civic Center at Florissant Valley Park, which is located at the intersection of Parker Road and Waterford Drive. The celebration’s main attraction is its fireworks display. It has been stated that this year the presentation will combine brilliant shells, color sequencing, dimensional frontage, and low and high level aerial combinations.
Cheryl Thompson, Director of Recreation for Florissant, shared some of the logistics for planning and hosting the show each year. Thompson stated that because Florissant is a municipality they must bid for something of this cost. This year’s show costs $28,000. The city has contracted with the same company for its fireworks display the last four or five years.
“When we go out for bid,” stated Thompson, “we tell them how long of a show we want and what types of things we want to see.”
In the fall of the year Florissant gets billed for services which initiates the planning of the fireworks display for the following year. The city pays for the cost of half of the services upfront and the remaining costs the day of the show. The city must also provide the company the needed verification letter to present to St. Louis County for obtaining of its fireworks permit to provide the display.
“The rangers come into [the area] in the morning [the day of the event] to block off certain areas of the parking lot for accessible parking and VIPs,” stated Thompson.
Thompson also shared that certain areas of the ground are blocked off to attendees due to fireworks regulations and for safety. The rangers also help in the evening with traffic control at arrival and departure times in collaboration with the police department.
“One or two full-time [Florissant] staff members are working that evening to make sure everything goes [well],” shared Thompson. “We have a concert prior to [the fireworks event], so we bring in a show mobile. We help bring instruments over from the high school to use at the concert.”
The festivities for the evening begins at 7:30 p.m. with the free outdoor concert performance by the Northwinds Concert Band and is estimated to run until 9:10 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to come hungry to enjoy the addition of the food trucks this year. Food will be available for purchase from New York Tom’s, Juice Masters, Mann Meats and Midwest Kettlecorn. New York Tom’s serves various foods such as: hot links, meatballs, chicken, steak, pasta, salad and chips. It is stated that they also include options for customers who require a gluten-free, contaminant-free option.
Florissant is inviting families to bring their blankets and lawn chairs to the event on July 4. Glass bottles are not allowed on the premises. If there is inclement weather the fireworks display will be rescheduled for July 5 at 9:15 p.m. For additional information, please call the James J. Eagan Center at 314-921-4466.
CUTLINE: Photo courtesy city of Florissant