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Lawrence 4th of July: Fireworks 411 + all you need to know for the long weekend

Ahead of the July 4th weekend, here’s everything you need to know about activities in and around Douglas County:

Where to go see fireworks, where you can shoot off your own, when to expect trash pickup next week, whether parking downtown is free Monday (spoiler: it is!) and more.

Note: Updated at 11:06 a.m. Friday, July 2, to add Eudora fireworks display, and 11:11 a.m. Friday with tips from the Lawrence Humane Society.

Fabulous Fourth Fireworks Celebration

Photo by Jason Keezer / Contributed

The Lawrence Jaycees’ community fireworks display this year is part of a coordinated effort on behalf of the City of Lawrence, Douglas County, LMH Health, Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health, the University of Kansas and the Lied Center of Kansas.

A city fireworks show — the only kind of fireworks permitted in city limits — will take place at around 9:45 p.m. on Sunday at the Shenk Sports Complex near 23rd and Iowa Streets.

Where to watch: The Lied Center of Kansas, 1600 Stewart Drive, will be open to watch the fireworks display and will have entertainment beginning at 7:30 p.m.

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Entertainment:
7:30 p.m. — Ellie LeBar, singer/songwriter
8:40 p.m. — Spencer & Rains, folk music

Nancy Marston will provide face painting leading up to the fireworks show, and concessions will be offered by the KU Memorial Union.

Parking: There will not be parking available at the sports complex due to the proximity to fireworks. The Lied Center parking lot will be available.

“For safety, barricades will restrict access to the fireworks area on Crestline Drive north of 23rd Street. Access will also be restricted on a portion of Becker Drive, around the restricted area,” according to the city. “There will also be no on-street parking along Constant Avenue from the Shenk Sports Complex to the Lied Center parking lot to avoid congestion before and after the show.”

Here’s a map:

fab4thmap

Where else can I go?
Baldwin City will have a big celebration starting at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Fireworks are expected to start at 10 p.m. Find more information at this link.
Eudora’s annual fireworks display will start just after dark Sunday. View from the parking lots of the middle and high schools, or wherever you choose.

DIY fireworks

Photo by Sarah Wright / Contributed

The possession, sale, and handling of fireworks has been prohibited in Lawrence city limits since 2002—with novelty items being the only things exception.

These are the novelty items allowed within city limits:

Party poppers: Small items not more than .25 grains of explosive with a string protruding from the device that is usually pulled to ignite.
Snappers: Small paper wrapped item with no more than .02 grains of explosive that, when dropped, the device explodes.
• Snakes, glow worms: Produces a snake-like ash upon burning.
• Sparklers: Wire or stick coated with pyrotechnic material that ignites to produce a shower of sparks. They are only permitted in Lawrence from June 27 through July 5.
• Toy caps: Toy plastic or paper caps for toys in sheets, strips, rolls or individual.
Toy smoke devices: Produce smoke only and with a limited amount of pyrotechnic material.

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In areas of unincorporated Douglas County, fireworks can be lit during the following hours, with the property owner’s permission and supervision:

• Thursday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
• Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
• Saturday from 7 a.m. to midnight
Sunday, July 4 from 7 a.m. to midnight

Find some safety tips and more information from Douglas County at this link.

Here’s where to get fireworks in Douglas County:
2021fireworkstandsmap

The city offers this reminder to be a good neighbor:

“Celebrate safely and be courteous. People in our community can be affected by the smoke created by fireworks if they have respiratory and breathing difficulties. Pets can also be bothered by the loud noises, so make sure animals are secure inside if they tend to react to them.

“If a veteran lives in your neighborhood, be a good neighbor and think about the implications fireworks can have on their celebration and daily routine. An estimated 7% to 20% of the more than 2.5 million veterans and troops who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan are believed to have developed PTSD. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, loud blasts and flashing lights can sometimes induce panic attacks. PTSD is characterized by emotionally re-experiencing traumatic events. The thoughts are triggered for combat veterans by the sound of an explosion or gunfire, or even certain sights and smells, according to the Institute of Medicine.”

And the Lawrence Humane Society posted some tips for pets who aren’t fans of big booms:

City services

Photo by Sarah Wright / Contributed

Emergency services — All emergency services will be available as usual, but Lawrence police and Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical administrative offices will be closed Monday, July 5.

Trash pickup will not change — trash, recycling and yard waste collection will run as usual on Monday, July 5.

Parks & Rec — 
• Holcom Park, the Community Building and the East Lawrence Recreation Center will be closed on July 4, but they will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday July 5.
• Sports Pavilion Lawrence will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 4, and from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday, July 5.
• Prairie Park Nature Center and the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department office and cemeteries office will be closed Monday.
• Find specific info on classes and camps on the city’s website at this link.

Swimming — The Outdoor Aquatic Center will be open from 1-6 p.m. July 4 and 1-7:30 p.m. July 5. The Indoor Aquatic Center will be closed July 4 and open from 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 5.

Parking — Will be free at meters, lots and garages downtown Monday, July 5.

Lawrence Transit — Will operate as usual Monday, July 5. Buses don’t operate on Sundays.

Lawrence Public Library — Closed Sunday and Monday (but always available online).

Related coverage:

Jason Keezer / Contributed This contributed photo from July 4, 2019, shows fireworks during the annual show in Lawrence.
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