Plans underway for Fourth of July celebration

Staff Writer

By BOB SHRALUKA
Decatur Daily Democrat

Decatur's annual Fourth of July Fireworks is just around the proverbial corner, and while it will be the city's 25th, it will also be the final one for chief organizer Adam Eguia. Or so he says.
It's also going to be one of the biggest ever — if not the biggest! "We're going to set off a lot of power this year," Eguia said at Tuesday night's city council meeting.
Meanwhile, some major changes are on tap due to the US 224 elevation project hav’ng entered its second phase. That will bring the closure of 224 between First Street and North Adams Drive, as well as the closure of the entrance to Stratton Place from 224.
So Jackson Street will be the only way for emergency crews to quickly reach areas east of 224. "That means Jackson Street will be the only way to the other side of town," Mayor Ken Meyer said.
During normal years, Jackson Street is closed for the fireworks.
On the Fourth this year, the stage on which ceremonies will be held will be set up in the Riverside Center parking lot, facing north. About 10-15 minutes before the fireworks are due to be set off, Jackson Street will be closed so people can sit in the large field on the north side of the street, as is customary. Then the street will be reopened.
Once the fireworks are finished, the street will be closed for a short period as people move to the other side of Jackson Street, then reopened. City police will be assisting all night.
Meyer said an alternate route, should one be needed while Jackson is closed, has yet to be determined.

TO HONOR WOLPERT
The mayor introduced Eguia, saying, "This is Adams's 25th year and is supposed to be Adam's last year." Referring to his retirement, Meyer said to Adam, "So what's the plan?"
"I don't know yet," replied Eguia, who put together the original July 4th show 25 years ago and has been its leader ever since.
Longtime West End restaurant owner/operator Phil Wolpert, who recently died, will be honored this year along with, as always, all veterans of the Armed Forces, Eguia said.
Festivities will begin in the parking lot at 6 p.m. with music provided by Lady Leo, a DJ. The color guard presentation will begin at 8:15, followed by the National Anthem sung by Bridget Fravel and then a prayer, likely by Carl Thieme. The Post Everlasting will be given by local Legion Commander Fritz Bultemeyer, then comes a 21-gun volley and Taps, a welcome by Mayor Meyer and an address by a speaker as yet undetermined.
As always, Eguia asked the public not to bring dogs to the fireworks and not to set off their personal fireworks. "Be safe and considerate of others, and not sorry," he said.

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