The news would come on Friday the 13th.
That’s when area residents learned that the Town of Lewisville will no longer host its annual Fourth of July firework display. That’s a disappointment for many.
The decision to end the display wasn’t because it was unpopular — it drew roughly 10,000 people each year. The decision wasn’t for lack of money or because of political correctness or because nobody could decide on a name.
It was simply because the town could no longer ensure the public’s safety.
Because of development, the town no longer has an adequate fallout zone, Mayor Mike Horn told the Journal’s Lisa O’Donnell — a place where hot debris from the fireworks could land safely without fear of sparking a fire or injuring someone. The town had been using a grassy strip of land that runs parallel to Shallowford Road as a fallout zone, but that area is no longer available — it’s the site of the future Great Wagon Road extension, which will link Shallowford Road to Lewisville-Vienna Road and alleviate growing traffic.
“We have less and less of an area to shoot these off and still adhere to regulations,” Horn said. “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.”
There’s a reason such elaborate productions — Lewisville spent $36,000 on this year’s fireworks program — don’t appear just anywhere.
The Fourth of July display was a well-loved event that put Lewisville on the map. For many, it was a family tradition, one they hoped to pass on to their children.
But a dangerous tradition is not worth the risk of passing down.
On the bright side, local residents enjoyed a free, extraordinary fireworks display for 20 years. That’s a good run.
There will be other firework displays next July, of course, including, most likely, one at the BB&T Ballpark sponsored by the City of Winston-Salem and the Winston-Salem Dash.
And maybe, if enough people ask them nicely (and somebody ponies up the money), Tanglewood Park will consider reviving its past fireworks tradition.