De Soto residents to welcome Fourth of July with a big bang
This year's fire department fireworks display promises to be the biggest and better, but officials are warning residents the only fireworks they will tolerate at the event are those shot off by professionals.
The De Soto school board allowed the use of the Lexington Trails Middle School stadium again this year but was concerned about the potential fire hazard from individuals shooting off fireworks in the high school parking lot and elsewhere.
Johnson County Sheriff Deputy Vernon Brown said 10 to 12 officers will work the event with a zero-tolerance attitude toward individual fireworks.
"We will be enforcing city and county ordinances banning fireworks," he said.
Because of ongoing construction on the Lexington Trails parking lot, it is not possible to gain access to the stadium from Penner or Lexington avenues. Those attending the event are encouraged to park behind the high school, via the 91st Street entrance.
While this will mean a longer walk to the stadium, the show, which is to start between 9:30and 10 p.m., will be worth it, said City Clerk Lana McPherson.
Fire department organizers are promising the show will run about five minutes longer than last year's 15 minute display and will include a greater variety of shells.
The city again contributed $4,700 for the event and the chamber donated $1,500. The show is bigger this year because of the success of the fire department's booth at last year's show, McPherson said.
"The firemen take donations to offset the cost of the show," she said. "They put any extra funds into fireworks for the next year's show. This year, we were able to do a little bit more than in the past."