Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin – Independence Day is fast approaching, and plans are in the works to make this a safe, enjoyable and memorable holiday for Wisconsin Rapids residents and visitors.
On Tuesday, July 4, one of the best fireworks displays in the area will be launched from the Wisconsin River in downtown Wisconsin Rapids. The display will begin at approximately 9:30 p.m. and may be viewed along most of the riverbank and downtown area, except for the launch and safety zone on the western bank of the river from the foot of the Grand Avenue Bridge to south of the Moravian Church.
The DJ, Entertainment Engines, will start playing music at 6:00 p.m., and the National Anthem will be sung by Don Johnson immediately before the fireworks show begins. Food and refreshment vendors will be located on West Grand Avenue on the west side of the river, and on Second Street South, south of East Grand Avenue, on the east side of the river.
The Wisconsin Rapids City Band will perform outside of the Centralia Center, 220 Third Avenue South, from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.
The fireworks show relies upon donations from citizens and businesses, and donations are still being accepted. Visit www.wirapids.org/donate or contact the Finance Department at 715-421-8233 to donate.
If you are planning to attend this event, please consider the following as you make plans:
• No tarps, blankets or chairs may be placed on the riverbank or in any City park before 6:00 a.m. on July 4. Any article placed before 6:00 a.m. will be removed. Do not place blankets over plantings or mulch.
• No parking will be allowed on Second Street South between East Jackson Street and Mead Street, from 6:00 a.m. on July 4 through the conclusion of the event.
• No vehicle traffic will be allowed on Birch, Maple, Walnut, Pine, Witter, Locust and Mead Streets, between Second Street South and Third Street South, from 3:00 p.m. on July 4 through the conclusion of the event.
• No vehicle traffic will be allowed on West Grand Avenue between Second Street South and Third Avenue South, from 3:00 p.m. on July 4 through the conclusion of the event.
• Parking spaces designated for individuals with disabilities will be available at the Moravian Church on Goggins Street (West side) and First Congregational Church, Maple Street parking lot (East side).
• Boaters: There will be a safety zone established (dependent on weather conditions) which will be set and monitored by boat patrols. This will protect boaters from being in an area where fallout from the display could strike a person or boat and potentially cause injury, or a fire or explosion. -- Boaters are reminded to make sure there are sufficient certified flotation devices onboard and the boat’s capacity is not exceeded.
• For easier departure at the conclusion of the event, park on the side of the river in which you live or the area from which you travel.
• Obey traffic direction provided by local law enforcement.
• Always yield to pedestrians and be especially alert for children.
• Take the time you need to return home safely.
In the event of inclement weather, stay tuned to local media and communications outlets for information. If possible, a decision to cancel the display will be made by 3:00 p.m., July 4. The alternate date, should the display be canceled, will be Wednesday, July 5. A notice would immediately be released on the following media outlets:
• City of Wisconsin Rapids Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/WIRapids
• Wisconsin Rapids Community Media: Solarus Channel 3, Charter Channel 985, www.wr-cm.org
• Nixle: Sign up for Nixle alerts at www.nixle.com or by texting your zip code to 888777
Also, regarding the possession, sale or use of fireworks, everyone should be reminded of the following:
• City Ordinance 20.04 (1) (a) allows private individuals and organizations to purchase, possess and use only those fireworks allowed in Chapter 167 of the Wisconsin Statutes. This would include sparklers, stationary cones and fountains, toy snakes, smoke bombs, caps, noisemakers and confetti poppers with less than one-quarter (¼) grain of explosive mixture. These items are legal without permits.
• Any device which contains more than one-quarter (¼) grain of explosive powder, that emits a report, discharges a flame, or leaves the ground is not permitted to be sold, possessed or used in the City of Wisconsin Rapids.
• All other fireworks, including roman candles, firecrackers, bottle rockets, mortars, etc. are illegal except for groups with permits. Anything which explodes or leaves the ground is illegal without a permit.
Our thanks to City of Wisconsin Rapids staff who have been a part of the planning process and to those who will carry out responsibilities during the event. And a special thanks to our colleagues in law enforcement, fire, EMS and Rescue who have committed time and resources to make this event safe.
From all of us at the City of Wisconsin Rapids, please have a very safe and enjoyable Independence Day.