Sunday, June 28, 2009

Planning your 4th of July celebrations around Phoenixville's fireworks? Better get there early!

Every year I receive requests for information on Phoenixville's fireworks for 4th of July.

2009 is no different, but there is a big change in this year's annual festivities.

The fireworks will apparently be held in conjunction with the First Friday events.

Location and time of the fireworks is not available on either of the sites I've checked.

According to the Phoenixville Borough website's brief note:

What's New

July 4th Fireworks

The July 4th Fireworks will be held on Friday, July 3, 2009 with a raindate of
Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Chamber of Commerce website states:

Fireworks are scheduled for Friday the 3rd for First Friday and will the committee will use the 4th as a rain date.

If someone can supply the location of the fireworks and the correct rain date, please post it to the blog.

To those handling the scheduling of the fireworks display, I have some comments.

Many, many people are going to be caught off guard with the scheduling of the fireworks on the day BEFORE the national celebration of our heritage.

Many, many people plan and host individual celebrations and most home owners and guests anticipate a rousing, explosive conclusion to their parties by viewing the fireworks at the end of the day.

What were you thinking?

First Fridays will ALWAYS bring the crowds to Phoenixville. There really was no need to change the date of the fireworks to coincide with First Friday. The town will be full of customers on Friday for businesses, but many residents will be unprepared to hear and see fireworks on Friday night. There has been little to no local advance information to the public.

In fact, the organizers have missed an opportunity to make July 3 and 4 a weekend event by bringing many people into Phoenixville for two consecutive days.

Take Philadelphia for example. They just hosted a delightful event, "A Taste of Philadelphia". Restaurants in Philly provide offerings from their menus at or below $5.00. Perhaps the next time the dates are close or coincide, "A Taste of Phoenixville" event along with more music and fireworks could be an ideal showcase for our town.

As a result of this snafu, Phoenixville residents and guests, alike will most likely be very disappointed in the change of the fireworks date.

Count my family among them.

Oh, and happy Fourth of July!


Anonymous said...

Come on, what day is July 4th? So much for fireworks after the picnic!

Anonymous said...

any possible way this can happen for us?

Karen said...

LOL! Anonymous 10:00 p.m., I simply must learn more about this!

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I called the Chamber of Commerce and they said the fireworks will be set off from the foundry at dusk (?!). Also, the rain date is ...JULY 4th!!!!!

karlub said...

I am as likely to find fault with municipal planning as the next guy, but maybe this change will be fun. Lots of people already down their for First Friday, less competition from other displays in the area, and I don't have to cram the fireworks and my customary BBQing into the same day. Instead, my favorite holiday can bleed all over the long weekend.

We'll see, but I'm willing to give this change a chance!

Karen said...

Thanks for the location and date confirmation, Anonymous 1:55 p.m.

Last year the smoke and sulfur-like smell was so dense in that little valley of the former Iron Company property that I couldn't breathe.

The fireworks also cannot be seen all over town as they can from up on the hill at Friendship Field.

But, what do I know...sigh.

Karen said...

I got a laugh, Karl, out of your holiday "bleeding" all over the weekend!

Nothing we can do now but try to get the word out.

Some folks I know are away and planned on coming home Saturday for the festivities. I told them to just stay on.

This reminds me, Karl, of the time years ago when the Mayor (not Leo) decided to change the date of Halloween and the children's night out trick or treating.

There was such a hue and outcry that was the last time anyone attempted to deliberately "move" a holiday event.

It is what it is now.

We plan to go up to the third floor and watch Limerick's and Eagleville's at the same time. ;)

Anonymous said...

I just returned from the awsome display of fireworks this evening. The display was magnificent but I have a few questions and comments:

1_ How much did it cost the taxpayers?
2_ Why was the venue and date moved?
3_ With the many attendees of first Friday, watching was difficult due to obstruction of trees and bldgs.-- why not at old location?
4_ Family like atomosphere gone due to the amt of party animals in the way of families.

Karen said...

Anonymous 12:08 a.m., I agree, the fireworks were beautiful!

The night was beautiful, too, low humidity, few clouds, just a perfect summer evening.

Now, to answer your questions.

The cost of the fireworks several years ago was around $10 to $12,000. I don't know exactly what the tally is this year.

I've read that the date was changed to coincide with First Friday. At the beginning of this thread you'll note my opinion on changing it from the 4th.

To that, I would like to add the fact that the fireworks in Phoenixville began in 1999 when I was the Sesquicentennial Commission chairman.

The original intent of the fireworks and an evening concert (held at Friendship Field) along with the pony rides, vendors, and several years with a very popular ballon ride, was that it was a way for the borough to thank Phoenixville residents and others, and to foster community and family spirit. For nine years it was an much anticipated family event.

Never was it intended to be part of a commercial event staged on the Phoenix Steel site in conjunction with a business district event.

Friendship Field, the original location, is now owned by two entities. The Friendship Fire Company and the borough of Phoenixville. I, along with many others, hope the reason for the change in venue was due to construction of the new firehouse.

I've heard from several other families with the same concerns as yours. The family atmosphere is basically non-existant by holding the 4th of July fireworks a day early and in a low valley, which once again quickly became filled with smoke.

Unless the fireworks are on the high point of Phoenixville on the north side, they cannot be enjoyed by residents all over the borough. Only the tops of some of the higher displays were able to be seen in the neigbhorhoods to the west and east.

Since the celebration of the 4th of July is an unmovable date, set in stone since 1776, and since it is the taxpayer paying for the staging of fireworks, I suggest calling your councilmember and request that this be the last time the family oriented annual concert and fireworks for 4th of July is highjacked.