Even had the De Soto City Council not lifted the fireworks ban before last year's Fourth of July, there would be extra pop in the local 2007 celebration of our nation's birthday.
As part of the city's sesquicentennial celebration, the council agreed to add $4,000 to what it normally makes available for the annual community fireworks show. This year, $10,000 worth of fireworks will go up in smoke Wednesday at the USD 232 west campus stadium. As in the past, the show will start 30 to 45 minutes after sundown.
"It should be quite a show," City Clerk Lana McPherson said.
The annual Fourth of July celebration was one of four events the De Soto Sesquicentennial Celebration Committee selected last year as community events to commemorate the city's 150th year. Others include last December's Mayor's Christmas Tree Lighting, the Labor Day Weekend De Soto Days Celebration and a daylong observance Oct. 3 (the actual date the city was founded).
McPherson, who heads the 2007 Sesquicentennial Committee, said the fireworks show will not be the only entertainment at the stadium on the Fourth. Festivities will start with a performance by the band Rule of Three at 7:30 p.m. The band will provide a two-hour set of music ranging from classic rock, blues and modern alternative.
McPherson said she would like to find a vendor or vendors for the evening to provide for what should be a good crowd.
"If an organization would like a money-making opportunity, this is their chance," McPherson said.
Anyone interested can call McPherson at (913) 583-1182.
One of the reasons the city council lifted the fireworks ban was to give local non-profit organizations the chance to raise money. Two organizations, the De Soto High School football team and VFW Post 6654, took advantage of the opportunity last year. When stands open Friday, last year's two fireworks vendors will be joined by the De Soto Youth Ministries and the De Soto Rotary Club.
Although fireworks can be sold five days before the Fourth, their use is limited in De Soto to three days, in conformance with state statute. Fireworks can be discharged from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday and Tuesday and from 10 a.m. to midnight Wednesday.
Furthermore, the city ordinance bans the use of fireworks on public property, including streets, and from 1,000 feet from a medical building or home for aged.
Bottle rockets are forbidden in De Soto as they are elsewhere in the state. The use of fireworks remains illegal in the unincorporated area of Johnson County.