Fire in the Sky Kicks off Fourth of July Weekend

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COLUMBIA - The 62nd Annual Fire in the Sky celebration begins Friday evening in downtown Columbia.

The Fourth of July celebration will take place at Flat Branch Park and Peace Park starting at 6:30 p.m. Event Coordinator Karen Chandler said Fire in the Sky is a family-friendly event. 

"At Flat Branch Park, we'll have lots of kid activities," Chandler said. "There's all kind of activities including inflatables and crafts, and lots of things for kids to do."

Over at Peace Park, musicians We Live in Public and The Junk Band will perform on stage. The Hickman High School Choir will perform at both locations. Several food vendors are setting up at both locations as well. Co-owner of Jamaican Jerk Hut, Rex Scott, said the vendors at Fire in the Sky exemplify the diversity of the United States.

"This is America, and America is a great example of a melting pot, and having Jamaican food on the celebration of America's Independence Day is a testament to the inclusiveness of the country," Scott said.

Fireworks will begin at 9:15 p.m. from the top of the parking garage at Sixth and Cherry Streets. The fireworks are choreographed to music on KBXR radio 102.3. Parking is free throughout downtown and on the MU campus.

"With the parking garages and all the parking between downtown and MU you should be able to find a spot," Chandler said. "I would say come down early. You don't want to get down here at nine o'clock or you'll probably end up in a traffic jam."

Starting at 7 p.m., several downtown streets will close. Locust Street will close at Providence Road, and Elm Street will close from Fifth to Sixth Streets. Fourth Street will close from Locust Street to Cherry Street beginning at 3 p.m. Parking will be restricted in the lots downtown beginning 5 p.m.

After the show, police will guide exiting traffic as some streets will turn into one way streets to help the traffic flow.