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County celebrates the 4th of July

By Staff | Jul 6, 2018

Parker McNutt, of Ranson, sports glow-in-the-dark glasses at the county's July 4 event.

Despite high temperatures on Saturday evening, 10,000 to 12,000 community members gathered in Sam Michaels Park to enjoy the annual Fourth of July celebration sponsored by the Jefferson County Parks and Recreation.

The gates opened at 5 p.m., and attendees continued to file through the gates up to the time of the fireworks show at about 9:20 p.m.

Prior to the show, live entertainment performed on a portable stage in the center of the event field. The previous stage area was roped off, as a proposed amphitheater project is underway. Paul Espinosa once again served as emcee for the event. Local acts Matt Denton, Wayne Snow and Riverwood performed during the event. In addition, food vendors and local businesses sold food and other items at their booths throughout the celebration.

The fireworks were presented by Gaithersburg, Maryland-based Digital Lightning, which has won the contract bid since the event began in 2006. Owned and operated by Vincent and Alysha DiGiorgio, the company is award-winning in their lighting shows and pyrotechnics. They have orchestrated the lighting for multiple White House and Congressional events, as well as concerts. They provide pyrotechnic shows in multiple locations during the Fourth of July holiday season, including Middleburg, Virginia and Solomons Island, Maryland.

A short break in the show occurred, when individuals wandered into the fireworks area. For safety reasons, no one is allowed within the pyrotechnic perimeter. Once the individuals were escorted out of the perimeter, the show restarted, finishing with a spectacular finale.

The show, which cost around $30,000 this year for the entire event, was funded by many local sponsors who see the event as a celebration of America’s birth and an asset to Jefferson County.

No admission is charged for the event, which is something Parks Director Jennifer Myers hopes will continue in the future.

“We love to be able to provide this event at no charge,” Myers said. “The cost is high, but people have been wonderful about donating. As long as that continues to happen, we will continue to have the show with no entry fee.”