By Eric Butler
By Eric Butler
Country performer Holly Dunn will provide the music and an Oklahoma company the fireworks when the “Smoke on the Water” Fourth of July Celebration takes place tonight in Clovis.
The event will be held at Greene Acres Park in the center of town and roads will begin to be blocked off early in the day.
Although the first food and games vendors aren’t expected to set up until 4 p.m., Main Street — between Purdue and 21st Street — will be closed to traffic around 7 a.m.
Those intervening hours of preparation will be utilized, in part, to cordon off areas around Greene Acres Lake where the public won’t be permitted to sit during the fireworks display.
“They should not be on the Marshall (Junior High) football field, or anything like that. But anywhere west or north of the lake would be OK,” says Clovis Fire Department chief Ron Edwards, who isn’t anticipating any problems with tangential fires as a result of the display. “In real dry years, we’ve had some (incidents), but I don’t see it this year, not with the moisture we’ve had.”
Dunn — singer of Top 10 country music hits “Daddy’s Hands,” “Are You Ever Gonna Love Me” and “You Really Had Me Going” — will begin a 30-to-45 minute show at 8 p.m. The fireworks, run by Western Enterprises, will then start about 9 p.m.
No admission is charged for the event.
Tom Martin, owner of Taco Box and organizer of the annual event since 1995, said Hilltop Plaza is among the best sites for watching the fireworks — if you get there early enough.
“That’s the first place to start,” Martin said. “We’ll then get people parking in some of the side streets up north. A lot of people just walk to the event. I’d suggest that, if they’re within a mile, they just walk.”
“We’ll get around 5,000 people there, but I know at least that many people elsewhere who are also watching,” Martin said.
Martin said this year’s fireworks display will be somewhat similar to last year’s — as Western Enterprises also put on the 2002 show.
The Oklahoma group, as well, did a fireworks display Wednesday at the “Tops in Blue” concert at Doc Stewart Park.
“They put on a small fireworks show (there) and it was very nice. I don’t consider myself an expert or anything, but there were a couple of shells that were fired off that I’d never seen,” Martin said. “Each year they develop some new fireworks, so they’ll put those in.”
A music program, coordinated with the fireworks show, can be heard on KCLV 99.1 FM or KCLV 1240 AM.