Fireworks to light up night skies

Friday, July 2, 2010 ~ Updated 12:31 PM

This weekend, an explosion of 4th of July events are scheduled to get under way around the region.

Most will be held on Sunday, July 4. A few have already taken place, such as Patriot's Day in Green Forest.

Berryville

Organizers of Fire on the Mountain, the Fourth of July fireworks display atop Saunders Heights, are excited to host the show again this year, which will feature patriotic music on the radio to accompany the fireworks show, plus the potential for booths at the fairgrounds below, where people can park for a premier viewing opportunity.

Upwards of $6,000 was raised for the event, which is scheduled for this Sunday evening, July 4. Regina Williams, one of the organizers, said a new pyrotechnician promises "no black sky for 20 minutes straight" and a dramatic finale.

At the fairgrounds, located at the base of Saunders Heights, groups are welcome to set up booths and families are welcome to park, barbecue and view the fireworks from their vehicles or lawn chairs. They are also welcome at the city ballfields on Trinnen Lane, in the parking lot of Powell Feed and Milling on Ark. Hwy. 21 North, or at other locations around town that have a good view of the mountaintop.

The discharge of privately owned fireworks will not be allowed at the fairgrounds, and no one will be allowed on Saunders Heights July 4, except for the pyrotechnician and event officials.

Tim Poynter, general manager of KTHS Radio, was excited about the part the radio station is playing in the event.

Poynter has prepared a CD of patriotic music that will be aired over the radio to coincide with the fireworks show.

The music will be a tribute to veterans, active troops and "those who have given their all," he said, and will include the singing of the National Anthem just prior to the fireworks show. Once again, singer/songwriter/composer David Allen Baker will contribute his talents. "Although he's unable to be here in person, he is going into the studio to record the anthem and have it mastered for the best quality," Poynter said.

Eureka Springs

Patriotic music, flag making, and a watermelon seed spitting contest are all planned for this year's Eureka Springs Independence Day Celebration set for Sunday, July 4, from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. in Basin Spring Park.

"It'll be great family fun," said event coordinator Jacqueline Wolven, executive director of Eureka Springs Downtown Network. That organization, along with the Eureka Springs Preservation Society, Soul Motion Studio, and the City Advertising and Promotion Commission, are sponsoring the event.

The festivities are set to begin at 11 a.m. with two hours of patriotic tunes performed by local musician John Walter Morrison.

Other scheduled activities throughout the afternoon include water balloon throwing, hula-hoop, and beard and mustache contests, Betsy Ross flag making, pin wheel making, a cupcake walk, creating a sidewalk chalk mural, and junk band drumming. In addition, Soul Motion Studio will perform a dance from 3-3:30 p.m.

There's no charge to attend the event or to participate in any of the scheduled activities.

"We invite everyone to come and enjoy this special day for free," Wolven said. "We think you'll find that there's a magical feeling to an old-fashioned 4th of July celebration in our friendly little town."

For more information contact Wolven at (479) 244-5074.

Holiday Island

The Holiday Island Chamber of Commerce is hosting its fourth annual "Fire on the Island" Fourth of July event beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday, at the Recreation Center on the Island.

There will be a variety of family-friendly activities, live entertainment, food, games for all ages, children's contests, hula hoop contests, vendor booths, and a fireworks display at dusk.

Vendor booths, open from 2 p.m. until dusk, are expected to showcase farmer's market items, homemade ice cream, snow cones, chocolate covered strawberries, watermelon, honey, baked goods, specialty coffees, candles and more.

As in the past, the Recreation Center will host the children's games (3-legged race, water balloon toss, egg toss and cotton ball race) with goody bags for all participants. Putt-putt golf will be available from 4 to 8 p.m.

Live entertainment will be provided by the Glory Mountain Quartet, Jerry Yester of the Lovin' Spoonful, and Lonnie Nichols and the Grandview Bunch.

A pulled pork dinner, from 4:30-7:30 p.m. at the historic Barn, will be available for dine-in or carryout.

"We encourage people to get their dinner and take it out to enjoy our live entertainment," said event coordinator Pam Hinson, president of Holiday Island Chamber of Commerce.

Hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, and a variety of snacks and drinks will also be available for purchase.

The schedule of events is: 2 p.m. vendor booths open; 2:30-4:30 p.m. Glory Mountain Quartet performance; 4:30-5 p.m. hula hoop demonstrations and contest; 4:30-7:30 p.m. pulled pork dinner; 5:30-7 p.m. Jerry Yester of Lovin' Spoonful; 7:15-9:15 p.m. Lonnie Nichols and the Grandview Bunch; 9:30 p.m. (dusk) fireworks.

Fire on the Island is a cooperative effort between the Holiday Island Chamber of Commerce and the Holiday Island Suburban Improvement District, with the fire department providing services during the activities.

"The Holiday Island Fire Department's goal is to make this celebration as safe and enjoyable as possible," said Fire Chief Jack Deaton. "At the same time, we want to get the spectators in and out in a safe and timely manner."

A First Aid Station will be available in the Island Room at the Recreation Complex, Deaton added.

Everyone is invited to bring their lawn chairs and blankets to the island. The fireworks display can also be viewed by boat on Table Rock Lake. For more information contact the Chamber at (800) 437-3007 or Hinson at (479) 253-7700.

Turpentine Creek

The 13th Annual Fourth of July Extravaganza is set to get underway on the front lawn of Turpentine Creek Sunday, July 4, from 7:30 p.m. until midnight.

Three bands will be entertaining, including Robbie Blender, Rooguards and Spring Street Ruckus.

Organizers say the event is free to the public, and donations will be accepted with all proceeds going to help the animals at Turpentine Creek.

Organizers say everyone is invited to come celebrating to the sounds of family-friendly music. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own fireworks or purchase them on the grounds because hundreds of people will be legally shooting fireworks from the site during the "Extravaganza." For information, call (479) 253-5841.

Shell Knob

Thirty-five years ago, Shell Knob residents were thinking about the American bicentennial. Several decided to celebrate in a big way. That's how Shell Knob's Fire & Thunder Fireworks display over Table Rock Lake began.

The goal was to bring upwards of 10,000 people to the area to stay in area resorts and spend money. Ron Rickard, who served as the Central Crossing Fire Protection District fire chief, recalled those early years.

"We bought everything we needed for the first show for $2,500 and the fireworks were hand-fired."

That is quite different from the elaborately choreographed and electronically fired displays that Shell Knob is now known for, he noted.

It's been 35 years since Rickard and the others hand-shot those first rockets, Shell Knob's fireworks are now an integral part of the community's identity.

The way fireworks are launched may have changed, but fundraising hasn't.

"The fireworks were funded by going around asking individuals and businesses for donations in the early years," Rickard recalled. "Today, the display is funded solely by the generous donations and sponsorships from businesses in three counties and two states, Shell Knob area residents, and visitors."

He said funds are also raised through the sale of T-shirts, the Fire & Thunder Golf Tournament, and contributions to the donation canisters that are set out throughout town.

As a result of those early efforts, Shell Knob now lays claim to the oldest display on Table Rock Lake, 35 years to be exact.

Additionally, their pyrotechnician continues to win awards for his choreographic prowess. This year, they are bringing the display directly to the water, shooting from platforms floating on Table Rock Lake, which will add yet another unique element to Shell Knob's show, set for 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 4.

In the event of inclement weather, the display will be held on July 5. Listen to area radio stations for rain delay information.

Prior to the show, there will be a patriotic boat parade beginning at 6 p.m. Participants will congregate at Lost Hill Island (where the Kings & White rivers meet) at 5:30 p.m. and cruise under the bridge, ending in an area for good fireworks viewing.

There is no cost to the public for either event, sponsored by the Shell Knob Chamber of Commerce.

Good viewing locations are any position with a clear view of the southwest side of Shell Knob Mountain.

For more information, contact the Shell Knob Chamber of Commerce at (417) 858-3300 or visit its website at www.shellknob.com.

Kimberling City

In Kimberling City, Fireburst 2010 will be presented by the Table Rock Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. It is a well-attended fireworks display funded entirely by donations large and small. Major contributors include the City of Kimberling City, Harter House, White River Electric Coop, Port of Kimberling, What's Up Doc, and sister stations KOMC-KRZK.

This will be the 23rd year the chamber has hosted the event. Fireworks can be viewed by car, boat or on foot.

It all begins at noon at "Vendor Village" in the Harter House parking lot where merchants will be set up to offer food, beverages, arts and crafts. Art guild members will be exhibiting their work and Springfield Skate is coming to present a skate board exposition. The 30-minute fireworks show is set to start at 9:30 p.m.

For those traveling by car, carpooling is suggested because of heavy traffic congestion along key access routes. The best places to park are at the mowed and sprayed field next to Harter House, or at the Kimberling City Shopping Center.

According to Heather, one of the organizers, local law enforcement officials, along with volunteer firefighters will be on hand to direct traffic after the fireworks display.

She said the Kimberling City fireworks event is always held on July 4. Although the show is free, donations are welcome to support future events. Donations are accepted the day of the show, or they can be contributed online at: www.visittablerocklake.com/store.

Harrison

In Harrison, activities are set to begin Sunday afternoon on the Harrison Square with a trike parade at 3 p.m. and turtle races at 4 p.m.

A $10,000 fireworks display is scheduled for 9 p.m. -- followed by a street dance on the Harrison Square at 9:30 p.m.

The Harrison Chamber of Commerce sponsors the "Fireworks Extravaganza" over Lake Harrison. According to chamber officials, it will incorporate a large aerial display with mirror images of the fireworks on both sides of the Main Street Bridge. The best view of the fireworks, created by J & M Displays of Yarmouth, Iowa, can be seen from the levee area.

For more information, call the Harrison Regional Chamber of Commerce at (870) 741-2659, or Main Street Harrison at 741-4889.

Grassy Knob

Although Grassy Knob is not having fireworks, the Ladies Auxiliary of the Grassy Knob Volunteer Fire Department is inviting the community to their annual ice cream social on Sunday, July 4, from 1-4 p.m. at the Grassy Knob Community Center at 12037 Ark. Hwy. 187.

There is no charge but donations will be gratefully accepted. This year there will also be a silent auction. Organizers suggest people come out to enjoy their favorite ice cream and toppings for a custom sundae with homemade cookies. For information, call Lynne Barlow at (479) 253-6772.

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