DECATUR — It will be a grand-a-minute finale lighting up the sky above Lake Decatur on July 4 in Nelson Park.

The 25-minute fireworks show costs $23,000, said Jamie Gower director of recreation and facilities at the Decatur Park District. 

“So many people get to enjoy it, it’s worth it,” he said. “It’s something to see.”

In addition to the fireworks, there will be a race, discounts on park activities, free concerts and food and drink vendors to help celebrate Independence Day in Decatur.

Thousands of people from Decatur and the surrounding area drive in for the celebration, which has been held for more than 40 years, Gower said.

To start the day with a bang, Tate & Lyle is sponsoring the 2017 Staley Firecracker Road Run/Walk. Race participants can choose a 2-mile walk, 4-mile or 8-mile run beginning at the Anna Bethel Fisher Rock Garden parking lot in Nelson Park. There will be half-mile kids run as well.

Online registration at active.com or at the Decatur Indoor Sports Center by today will ensure participants receive a shirt and by July 3 to receive a discount. The fee for kids is $16 and $26 for adults. Registration will be available on race day for $5 more from 6:30 to 7:15 a.m.; the first race begins at 7:30 a.m. For more information, contact Gabby Cliff at (217) 429-7750.

The free concerts will be held in the Nelson Park horseshoe parking lot beginning at 5 p.m. with B.O.S.S. followed by Wreckless Whisky at 6 p.m.

Drivers should expect delays during the holiday, according to the park district. Traffic will be rerouted during the Firecracker Road Run/Walk from 7 to 10 a.m. and then again after the fireworks show.

On July 4, East Lake Shore Drive will be closed from the Snack Shack. No parking will be allowed on U.S. 36 or Lost Bridge Road.

After the fireworks, the traffic from Pier 36, the Boat House and roadway west will exit west onto the Lost Bridge Road. The traffic from Lakefront Road, the Beach House and the Nelson Park dog park will exit west on East Lakeshore Drive and turn north on 22nd Street. Drivers along Nelson Boulevard will be directed north to U.S. 36 and should make use of side streets to avoid a long wait at the U.S. 36 stoplight.

Other events include free carousel rides at Scovill Zoo with an admission ticket, a $20 Family & Friends Special at Overlook Adventure Park for four mini golfers, and an open swim for $4 a person at the Fairview Family Aquatic Center will include games and prizes.

The following is a list of fireworks shows in the area:

Saturday, June 24

  • Bethany, 9:15 p.m. at Carter Park
  • Macon, dusk at the Macon Speedway
  • Toledo, dusk at the Legion Ball Park

Sunday, June 25

  • Stonington, dusk at Ponting Field

Friday, June 30

  • Arcola, dusk at Moore Park

Saturday, July 1

  • Arthur, dusk at Jurgens Park
  • Harristown, dusk at the Harristown Grade School
  • Maroa, dusk at the Old Maroa Grade School
  • Raymond, dusk at Memorial park

Sunday, July 2

  • Bement, dusk at the Forest Preserve Park
  • Lincoln, dusk at Primm Road Park District

Monday, July 3

  • Monticello, dusk at Lodge Park
  • Mount Zion, dusk at Fletcher Park
  • Pana, dusk at the Tri County Fairgrounds

Tuesday, July 4

  • Assumption, dusk at the Slag Pile
  • Casey, dusk at Fairview Park
  • Charleston/Mattoon, dusk at the Coles County Memorial Airport
  • Decatur, dusk at Nelson Park
  • Dieterich, dusk at Liberty Memorial Park
  • Effingham, 9 p.m. at the Effingham High School Sports complex
  • Marshall, dusk at the Clark County Fairgrounds
  • Shelbyville,dusk at the Dam West Recreational Area
  • Sullivan, dusk at Wyman Park
  • Taylorville, sundown at Taylorville Lake

Wednesday, July 5

  • Clinton, dusk near Sunset Inn

Saturday, July 8

  • Tuscola, dusk at Ervin Park
  • Hammond, dusk at the ball diamond
  • Mount Pulaski, dusk at Frazier Park

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Public Safety Reporter

Public safety reporter for the Herald & Review.

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