By: Annabelle Knef
O’FALLON – For the first time in over 30 years, the city of O’Fallon will have its very own firework display, which will take place at the Family Sports Park on the evening of Sunday, July 7.
O’Fallon Mayor Herb Roach said when he was running for office, he kept a list of all the different suggestions and ideas that he heard from people to bring the community together.
One idea he heard was for the city to have a Homecoming event. “Last year we brought together City Fest, which replaced what was once Homecoming in the past,” Roach said.
Roach said he then began thinking of the feasibility of a firework display in the city of O’Fallon.
“We haven’t had one here in O’Fallon in over 30 years.”
The city began looking at different sites where the display could take place and they invited different licensed firework companies.
The prime site everyone felt the most comfortable to host the display, according to Roach, was the Family Sports Park in the area across from the firehouse.
The city chose Quincy based firework company and operators Fireworks Authority Inc. Roach said they not only have a great reputation, they also gave the city a low quote in a figure under $15,000.
Roach said the company reviewed the site, along with the Parks and Recreation Department, O’Fallon Fire Department and O’Fallon Police.
The company submitted a drawing that dictated the amount of space needed for a safety clearance and the Family Sports Park was well qualified for the space allotment.
“We are excited about doing it,” Roach said. “Everybody we have talked with is excited about it.”
Roach said while the sports park is able to fit several hundred cars for parking, the city will soon correspond with nearby businesses about parking availability on the night of July 7.
Roach said a lot of community members won’t need to travel to the sports park for the firework display, they may be able to see it from their back yards.
Roach said the firework display “will pull the community together as one.” “This is what we did with City Fest and that is what we are trying to do with this.”
Roach said the reason the firework display is not on the Fourth of July is due to factors such as schedules for the Parks and Recreation Department and the firework company partnering with the city.
The Parks and Recreation Department is built a year in advance for certain summer activities such as sporting events, according to Roach. He said firework companies such as Fireworks Authority Inc. are sometimes booked two or three years in advance, especially around the Fourth of July holiday.
The firework display will take place later in the evening on Sunday, July 7, around 9 p.m. and will last approximately 20 minutes.