The city of Lansing is preparing for an Independence Day celebration unlike others it has hosted in the past.
The main difference is a change in the date itself ― the Lansing City Council earlier this year approved the show for June 28, almost a week before the actual Fourth of July holiday, because of scheduling conflicts with the show's contracted fireworks provider, Aeriel FX of St. Joseph, Mo. But that's not the only aspect separating this year's show from those of the past.
"We're doing it a little differently this year," said Nolan Sunderman, the city's director of economic development and its convention and visitors bureau.
The Independence Day celebration will actually begin before dark, at 6 p.m. Friday at the city's Kenneth W. Bernard Community Park, located about 2.5 miles west of Main Street off of 4-H Road. Sunderman said there will be a number of vendors like Big Dogs Barbecue, the Lansing Historical Society, Lamborn Farms, the James Taylor Lansing Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 12003 and the 2014 Lansing High School Operation Graduation selling food and refreshments on the grounds of the park.
Sunderman said the city will also set up children's inflatable rides at the site. Spectators are encouraged to bring lawn chairs to view the show from Bernard Park. Those hoping to get a seat are encouraged to arrive at the park no later than 9 p.m. as no traffic will be allowed into the park after that time. Mayor Billy Blackwell will introduce the fireworks, which are expected to begin about dusk, or 9:30 p.m.
This week, the city of Lansing also reminded residents of its regulations regarding the discharge of fireworks. Fireworks can be discharged within Lansing city limits from July 1 through July 4 between the hours of 12 p.m. and 10 p.m., except on July 4 when fireworks can be discharged within city limits from 12 p.m. until 11 p.m. The city does prohibit the use of aerial "sky lanterns," which are small unmanned air balloons that rely on an open flame to provide lift. The use of bottle rockets is also prohibited in the city. No fireworks will be permitted on the site of the fireworks show or within 500 feet of the perimeter of the display setup area.