MOUNT VERNON - Ariel-Foundation Park will host Mount Vernon's fireworks on Tuesday, July 4. The fireworks, expected to start around 10 p.m., are preceded by concerts, including Central Ohio Brass Band (4 p.m.) and 7 Bridges, an Eagles tribute band (8 p.m.).
Volunteers will park attendees upon arrival. A majority of parking will be available at The Lakes, entering from Madison Avenue; The Meadows off of Pittsburgh Avenue; near the Schnormeier Event Center or Clock House off of Pittsburg Avenue; and in the parking area off of Harcourt Road. Handicapped parking will be available in front of Schnormeier Event Center. Please note that there is no parking on the grass but in designated areas only. As parking gets filled at the park, roads leading into the park from Columbus Road will be closed. They will still be open to pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
Additional parking areas within walking distance of the Park include downtown lots and downtown street parking (there will be no time limits enforced on July 4), the CA&C Depot on South Main Street and Memorial Park. Attendees can use the bike trail to walk into the park. Knox Transit authority will run two shuttles to and from Mount Vernon High School stadium parking lot from 6-8 p.m. and after the event from 10:30-11:30 p.m.
Food service will begin at 3 p.m. and food vendors will be stationed near the restrooms by The Lakes and directly in front of Schnormeier Event Center. MTVarts will present music from "Bye Bye Birdie" and Sarah Goslee Reed with perform between the bands. No outside coolers or beverages are permitted in the Event Center; alcohol, purchased on site only is allowed in the Event Center. Smoking and pets are also prohibited inside the Event Center.
Those interested in spending the day on the water or watching the fireworks on the lakes are encouraged to bring kayaks and canoes, outfitted with appropriate life jackets. Fishing is also encouraged throughout the day. Swimming is prohibited. The Clock House Museum will be open from 1-5 p.m. and park visitors may climb Rastin Observation Tower until 8 p.m. The first 100 children on site July 4 will receive a free Frisbee courtesy of WNZR.
In order to secure the area for the fireworks presentation, the road through The Woods will be closed beginning at 3 p.m. The main park road in front of the Event Center will also be closed at 3 p.m. allowing pedestrian traffic only. Pittsburgh Avenue will be closed from the Clock House parking lot to 6th Avenue starting at 6 p.m. The fireworks display is made possible by the City of Mount Vernon and Ariel Corporation.
"We have a plan to get event-goers out of the Park as quickly and safely as possible after the fireworks, provided people follow the direction of the police, sheriff's deputies and other security personnel on duty," said Park Manager Scott Zimmerman. "We believe this is going to be a great event and expect that attendees will cooperate to make it a positive experience for everyone."
Suggested locations from which to view the fireworks other than the Park include Arch Park, the Harcourt Road parking area for Ariel-Foundation Park, CA&C Depot, or Memorial Park.
The fireworks are paid for out of city funds, $10,000, and $7,250 from the Ariel Corporation.