Weather doesn’t stop annual fireworks

Published 10:30 am Thursday, July 6, 2023

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VALLEY — Despite some threatening weather in the area, the City of Valley had a well-attended Fourth of July fireworks show Tuesday evening. The city has been having these fireworks shows since July 4, 1996, when Valley Sportsplex was dedicated. Gov. Fob James came to speak that day and recalled the fun times he had growing up in the local area.

There have been some years when the show was canceled due to stormy weather and other years when it took place at old Shawmut airport.

“It was another really nice show,” said Mayor Leonard Riley, who watched the show from Lakeview Cabin with family members and city employees. “It was a late-arriving crowd because of the weather, but it looked like we had another good crowd.”

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“It was great!” said Valley Parks and Recreation Director Laurie Blount. “For the first time, we had some food trucks and some ice cream vendors there. They got there several hours before the fireworks started, and everyone seemed to appreciate them being there. I’m sure they did some good business. We think it worked out well, and we’d like to keep doing this in future years. We hope to have even more vendors next year.”

The vendors included Top Notch Southern Barbecue of Valley, Gimme Some Sugar from LaFayette, Big Momma’s Ice Cream and Mr. Frosty’s. As he has for a number of years now, Casey Chambley put on an impressive show for the big crowd. For several years running, he has launched his rockets from an open field off Valley Industrial Boulevard. This allows for great views not just in the Sportsplex/Community Center area but also along nearby Fob James Drive, where many of the early arrivals parked their vehicles to get the best spots.

The oohs! and aahs! of the crowd could be heard along with the laughter of children and shouts of “Oh Yeah!” and “Wow!” as the rockets soared upward for several hundred feet before exploding with loud bangs and sending colorful streamers to the ground.