Samantha McDonald / Staff Writer
For 41 years, the Denton sky has served as a background to brilliant displays of fireworks on Independence Day night.
Now on its 42nd annual show, the Denton Noon Kiwanis Club will light up the sky once more. The spectacle at Apogee Stadium is considered a city tradition that hosts not only full concession services, but also live entertainment.
“It’s like a football game day,” said Hank Dickenson, chairman of the club’s fireworks show and UNT deputy athletic director.
Rated one of the best fireworks displays in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, the show features a 30-minute demonstration starting at 9:45 p.m. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., and event-goers have a chance to visit the family-fun zone and watch performances by the bands, Raised Right Men and Stage Fright.
Parking at Fouts Field will cost $5 per car, but the event is free. Proceeds go to service expenses and the Kiwanis Children’s Clinic, a nonprofit organization that provides medical and dental services at low- or no-cost for disadvantaged children in the Denton area.
Last year was the show’s first move from Fouts Field to Apogee, which was well-received by organizers, sponsors and attendees. Dickenson said that the number of people attending the event has grown to nearly 20,000 inside the stadium alone, and with July 4 on a Friday this year, a larger crowd is expected.
This increase in attendance comes with an increase in the number of cars that will need guidance as traffic congestion and heat-related issues become common during large-scale fireworks events.
“Traffic prior to the fireworks is intermittent as people trickle in throughout the day,” said UNT Police Capt. Jim Coffey. “However, when the final firecracker goes ‘bang’, we have a little gridlock for a few minutes as everyone tries to leave at once.”
Coffey suggests attendees remain patient as officers will be present at major intersections to keep vehicles moving as best as possible.
Despite this, Dickenson believes in the event’s success. Although outside food and drinks will not be allowed inside the stadium, attendees are welcome to tailgate at the surrounding area to enjoy the show.
“It’s just a great day to celebrate freedom and get the whole community together,” Dickenson said.
Feature Photo: Fireworks light up the sky at Apogee Stadium as Dentonites celebrate Independence Day. Photo By Samantha McDonald – Staff Writer