Hamilton fireworks: City closer to deciding where it will launch this year’s larger show

The city’s Independence Day fireworks most likely will be launched from the Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park because that’s the place where tests last Friday found offered best viewing from several locations.

Prime viewing locations for the July 4 fireworks will be Miami University’s Hamilton campus, the Joyce Park soccer fields, Kevin Lodder Park, Officer Bob Gentry Park and the Booker T. Washington Community Center, said city spokesman Brandon Saurber.

Staff planned to recommend that location to Hamilton City Council on Wednesday. The city, raising donations for the fireworks, wants to have fireworks, but wants there to be physical distancing —the reason there won’t be a launch from the traditional downtown location.

City staff and a fireworks company shot five test shells Friday from the sculpture park and the Butler County Fairgrounds, launching shells that were 4 inches, 5 inches, 6 inches, 8 inches and 10 inches from each. Volunteers at about two dozen locations rated the results and shot videos with their smart phones.

“Miami University is OK with the use of their parking lot,” Saurber said. “The parks conservancy and Steve Timmer have OK’d use of the parks beyond dark.”

With the test shots, volunteers ranked what they saw on a scale of 1 to 4, he said: 1 represented if they saw fewer than 30 percent of the test shots. 2 represented 30-60 percent. 3 was 60-90 percent. 4 represented 90-100 percent.

The locations he listed “were scored 4’s by our volunteers,” Saurber said.

Meanwhile, “Some of the locations that I thought would be great for the fairgrounds ended up not being good, namely the North End ballfields, Crawford Woods Elementary,” and the city’s parking lot at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and High Street, Saurber said.

“So had we gone with the fairgrounds, we would have had great visibility from Garfield Middle School and Fairwood Elementary, but at that point, we’re not offering much more space than we would have had downtown.”

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