FIREWORKS

Fireworks explode over Shallowford Square during the Lewisville Independence Day celebration. The town is ending the annual display, which draws thousands of spectators each year.

The town of Lewisville is ending its annual Fourth of July fireworks display.

Attracting nearly 10,000 people each year to Shallowford Square and the surrounding area, the fireworks display had become one of the biggest in Forsyth County, with folks setting up along sidewalks and parking lots hours before the first firework was launched.

Mayor Mike Horn said the town no longer has an adequate fallout zone, where hot debris from the exploded fireworks can safely land without sparking a fire or injuring a spectator.

The fallout zone the town had been using, a grassy strip of land that runs parallel to Shallowford Road, is slowly being developed, he said. It is the site of the future Great Wagon Road extension, which will link Shallowford Road to Lewisville-Vienna Road.

The office of the Forsyth County Fire Marshal is in charge of making sure fireworks display have an adequate fallout zone.

“We have less and less of an area to shoot these off and still adhere to regulations,” Horn said.

The town moved back the launching area this year about 100 yards because of development.

“Next year, we won’t be able to shoot in that zone at all. Obviously, the question is, ‘Where else can we shoot?’ And there’s not really any place that can accommodate the crowds we have at the Fourth of July,” he said.

Two years ago, the town tried shooting the fireworks from Jack Warren Park on Lewisville-Clemmons Road but the shells didn’t reach high enough to produce a good display.

The town spent $36,000 on this year’s fireworks, which also includes extra deputies from the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.

The Lewisville Civic Club started the fireworks program around 2000 then asked the town to take it over in 2003 after it became too big for the club to manage.

Lewisville’s Parks and Recreation Committee is looking at ways to use the money to add or enhance existing events, but there are no plans to develop a replacement event for the Fourth of July, Horn said.

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lodonnell@wsjournal.com

336-727-7420

@lisaodonnellWSJ

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