Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Mayor Jones decided to move the City's 4th of July fireworks show from its traditional river front location to Spring Hill Cemetery on the North Side of the valley. Ostensibly this move was to save a bunch of bucks by combining the show with those that The Power were going to be shooting off that evening.
Some people around town are upset that the fireworks would be launched from a sacred place like a cemetery, and a lot of boaters are mad because one of the main reason people have boats in Charleston is to get up close to the two or three fireworks displays that are launched from either barges on the river or on trucks on the banks.
This is another one of those Jones Administration decisions that is curious in its apparent lack of thought. Here are the problems I see with the new location:
1. For more than thirty years, the fireworks have been at the riverfront. People have traditional places they meet to watch them. People always line the riverbank from the Clendenin Street nearly to the Capitol, and hundreds of people watch from boats. For thousands of people this is their family 4th of July tradition. There will be a lot of scrambling this year to find new places to watch from, but;
2. There are less places to watch from. Although the idea of using the elevation of the hilltop sounds good, the angles will make it difficult to see the fireworks from traditional places like Fort Hill, the West Side hill. The river will be a terrible vantage point and boaters will have to get out of the water to see the show. Outside of Appy Park, I can't think of a single vantage point that will be a decent place to watch from.
3. As dry as the foliage and grass is right now, putting the show on the hillside is a recipe for a brush fire. One of the great things about the riverfront show is that the ashes and embers fall harmlessly into the Kanawha.
4. Cars on the interstate will be right under the show. I would not be surprised if we have fender-benders or worse during the display.
I could write a dozen more reasons this is a bad idea, but what's the point?