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July 4 fireworks in the center of town this year (2011)

After a few years of fireworks over the water at Melton Hill Lake, this year’s City of Oak Ridge July 4th fireworks display will be shot from A.K. Bissell Park (the park area surrounding the Oak Ridge Civic Center) in the middle of town. The press release came out today and I figure I’d better post it here — every summer this blog gets hits from people looking for information on the fireworks show, so I figure I’d better post something.

The show begins at 10:00 p.m. on July 4th, 2011.

The city press release quotes City Manager Mark Watson on reasons for changing the location: “From a logistical standpoint, shooting fireworks at Melton Lake is a strain on our limited resources. Trying to keep a normal flow of traffic on Melton Lake Drive with spectators parked on the shoulders of the road is not only a physical challenge, but also a real safety concern.”

Also, he says: “The Oak Ridge Community Band will perform its annual 4th of July concert at
the Pavilion in Bissell Park beginning at 7:30 p.m. Families can come to the park, listen to a terrific concert, and not have to drive several miles in order to view the fireworks. It will be a great evening of family entertainment to celebrate Independence Day, and an opportunity for the community to share its patriotic pride.”

Parking will not be allowed on the shoulders of S. Illinois Avenue or Oak Ridge Turnpike. Both roads will remain open throughout the event. Badger Avenue (the road past the Oak Ridge Art Center, RFB&D, and the “peace bell”) will be closed from 9:30 pm until the show is over.

Staff says the best view of the show will be from the east end of Bissell Park. (I understand the show will be at the west end of the park, near ORAU Way — the road formerly known as Raccoon Road.)

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