There wasn’t much to celebrate in 2020, so the city of Lewisville wants to make sure it does it right this year.
The city plans to host a fireworks celebration July 6 at the end of the city’s Sounds of Lewisville event in Old Town.
It will be the first time Lewisville has hosted a fireworks show since 2019 as the COVID-19 pandemic and a revenue shortfall shut down most events last year, including the annual fireworks show on Independence Day. But city officials said revenue is projected to be more favorable, and the number of COVID-19 cases is trending downward.
“While this has been a difficult time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel is certainly something to celebrate,” City Manager Donna Barron said.
From the early 2000s to 2016 Lewisville hosted a fireworks show in the parking lot of Vista Ridge Mall, now Music City Mall. Those events included bands, vendors and one year a military flyover.
“If you drove around in that area along Vista Ridge Mall Drive and MacArthur Boulevard every vacant field and large parking lot had people in it,” said James Kunke, community relations and tourism director.
The show hit its crowd peak in 2005 with performances from Keith Anderson and Raven Symone. The show drew in 18,000 people.
Kunke said crowd and budget issues caused the city to scale down the event in 2007 to just a fireworks show.
Then in 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic hit. That, coupled with a $10 million revenue shortfall, caused the city to cancel the show.
Kunke presented the City Council on Monday multiple options for a 2021 show. In addition to the Sounds of Lewisville event he also proposed a fireworks show on July 3 or July 4 at Lake Park.
Kunke said having it at Lake Park would give the city plenty of space, thus the easiest controlled launch site the city has ever had.
“We know from the Pop Festival that we can successfully do events here,” Kunke said. “We also know the biggest challenge as expected will be getting people in and out, but we have a plan for that.”
But he said having the show on July 4 brought several challenges, such as paying overtime to city staff. He said the police department may also be stretched thin as Castle Hills is also having an event July 4.
“That would put a lot of stress on Lewisville PD,” Kunke said.
Plus, he said it’s unknown if neighboring fire departments would be available to provide assistance.
Kunke said having the event July 4 at Lake Park would cost approximately $86, 500 compared to $76,700 by having it on July 3 because of the extra cost of fencing, bussing, staging, etc. He said having the event July 6 at the Sounds of Lewisville would cost $56,900.
Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Kristin Green favored the Sounds of Lewisville because of safety concerns at the lake.
“I like the idea of having it on the lake,” Green said. “But the thought of trying to do something on the lake July 4 weekend makes me very, very nervous from a safety perspective.”