Arts council, city team up for July 4th celebration
Searching for fireworks July Fourth? The city of Palatka has $18,000 worth ready to boom Monday night.
The city’s annual Fourth of July celebration is scheduled for the Palatka riverfront Monday. But along with the fireworks that delight so many, the city and the Arts Council of Greater Palatka has combined forces to provide a little more fun than usual at this year’s festivities.
The Fourth of July celebration will begin 3:30 p.m. with food truck eats, sweets, snow cones, children’s activities and music.
Mandi Tucker, who leads the city’s efforts at the St. Johns River Center, said the kid’s zone across the street from the center will feature inflatables and music by Lee Kelly and Lorie Baxter at 4 p.m. The St. Johns River Center lobby will also be open from 4-9 p.m.
After American Legion Post 45 presents the colors, the Keith Godwin and Rio Grande Band will hit the stage at 5 p.m. They’ll play a mix of outlaw country with classic and modern sounds.
The city is also selling rooftop tickets at the St. Johns River Center for the fireworks display. The cost is $50 each and includes a buffet-style dinner and two free drinks. Tucker said she has about 35-40 tickets remaining. Those wishing to purchase tickets can reach Tucker at 326-2704.
Tucker said the Fourth of July celebration is a tribute to the many businesses and residents who support the city’s firework display with donations.
“I think it’s real important we continue it,” Tucker said. “The arts council is definitely the other force who has helped the city put it together, but none of it would be possible without the private businesses and citizens.”
While Tucker was responsible for the kid’s zone and the river center’s inclusion in this year’s festivities, Denise Aiken at the arts council said her organization has long been a part of the Fourth of July vent.
“I’ve been with the arts council for 17 years, and I know we’ve been involved a lot longer than that,” Aiken said. “We always provide the music.”
Aiken said food will be aplenty with a local food truck.
She said a bigger emphasis was placed on expanding the festivities. The event starts at 3:30 p.m., which is earlier than previous years.
“This is really the first year we’ve tried to expand it,” Aiken said. “It draws such a huge crowd. We’ve always had the music. What we want to do is draw people down there a little more in the day and make it more of a celebration.”
The fireworks show is slated to begin at dark.