Delayed Fourth of July celebration dazzles fireworks fans


The city of Seymour’s Fourth of July celebration is an event that takes between six to eight months to prepare for annually. All of the hard work and preparation put into this year’s salute to American freedom unfortunately did not deter Mother Nature from permitting rainy weather on the day of the holiday, impelling the city’s parks department to postpone the festivities.

Although the celebration was delayed by two days, hundreds of patriotic Jackson County residents still gathered at Freeman Field Recreational Complex this past Saturday evening to commemorate their country’s independence.

While many brought lawn chairs and blankets to spread out on the grass, others elected to stay near their cars and set off sparklers.

In addition to the dazzling fireworks on display once the sun had set, those in attendance at the city’s celebration were also able to enjoy live music from The Dwight Hendrix Experience.

“It was a really fun event for us,” Hendrix said. “We are happy that we could add to the greatest fireworks show on July 6th in Seymour. We’re thankful for the opportunity to showcase our talent [and] hope to do it again soon.”

Park Department Director Chad Keithley described the department’s lengthy process of preparing the celebration, sponsored this year by Bob Poynter Chevrolet Buick GMC and 92.7 Nash Icon WXKU.

“We start about on the first of January every year,” Keithley said. “There’s a lot of permits you have to get through — the police department, the fire chief, Homeland Security — all kinds of different things to make sure that you have safety quarters set up. We have caution tape set up for safety zones where people can’t be once the fireworks start taking off.”

Keithley said his favorite aspect of Independence Day is seeing families convene in celebration.

“What I like the best is seeing all the families get together and hang out,” Keithley said. “Some of them bring their own grills and cook out.”

While the Fourth of July is technically a celebration of the ratification of the Declaration of Independence and the founding of the United States of America, many in attendance on Saturday felt thankful for the chance to spend time with loved ones and for the liberties bestowed upon them by their country during its storied history after July 4, 1776.

Vallonia resident Tabitha Artigo, 41, said the freedoms granted to American citizens gives her a sense of peace.

“You can pretty much be you want to be in this country,” Artigo said. “I appreciate that we have freedoms that no other country has.”

Artigo’s 15-year-old daughter, Janelle Head, shared similiar sentiments to Keithley about the Fourth of July.

“It’s a day that we come together,” Head said. “It’s not really normal to come together as a family and see all your friends and spend time together.”

Freedom is all about personal expression to 22-year-old Seth Warren.

“You can be yourself and not be worried about anybody doing something to you,” Warren said. “I like how on [the Fourth of July] people get together and mingle.”

Chelsea Wicker, 27, has watched the fireworks at Freeman Field for five years in a row. As a former healthcare worker, she said she appreciates having the holiday off to celebrate American freedoms with family and friends now that she works at a YMCA.

“Especially after seeing news about third-world countries, it’s nice to be able to have the freedom to do what we want,” Wicker said.

No posts to display