Alabaster holding July 3 fireworks display

Alabaster will launch fireworks from a field near the Publix shopping center on Alabama 119 on July 3. (File)

Alabaster will launch fireworks from a field near the Publix shopping center on Alabama 119 on July 3. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Alabaster residents will have a new way to celebrate Independence Day this year, as the city is planning to hold a fireworks display at a new location on July 3.

The city will hold a public fireworks show beginning at 9 p.m. on July 3, and will launch the spectacle from a field surrounding an old dairy silo near the Publix shopping center on Alabama 119.

This will mark the first year fireworks have been launched from the location, as the city has partnered with Kingwood Church the past several years to hold the “Celebrate America” festival in Veterans Park.

“We were notified earlier this year that Kingwood wasn’t planning to do Celebrate America again,” said Alabaster Mayor Marty Handlon, noting the city had a “great partnership” with Kingwood. “We thought it would be nice if (the city) could do something to help people celebrate the Fourth of July.”

Alabaster is paying about $7,500 to fund the show, which will be about 25 minutes, city leaders said during a June 22 City Council work session. During the show, the APH 99.9 radio station will broadcast music to accompany the fireworks display.

To prepare for the first-year show, crews conducted a test fire on the night of June 20, and city employees spread out across the area to determine the best viewing locations for the display.

Alabaster City Manager George Henry said the best viewing areas for the display will be on Plaza Circle and Plaza Drive near the Alabaster YMCA, the area surrounding Publix on Alabama 119 and in Municipal Park near Thompson High School.

City Council members also said the display will be visible from Larry Simmons Stadium and its surrounding areas.

The city is asking viewers not to park along Alabama 119 or on county roads, such as Kent Dairy Road, Fulton Springs Road or Thompson Road, during the event,

Handlon said the city chose the area near the silo because it is visible from several parts of the city.

“Leaving Veterans (Park) after Celebrate America was always a traffic nightmare,” Handlon said, noting the city is planning to continue the fireworks display in future years. “We wanted to put on a display that would be visible from many different areas.

“We didn’t want to be the only city around here that didn’t have a fireworks display,” Handlon added.