Community | WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

No Fireworks For Tallahassee

By: Bailey Myers; Matt Galka Email
By: Bailey Myers; Matt Galka Email
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By: Garin Flowers
July 4, 2013

Local weather really put a damper on the annual 4th of July fireworks show in Tallahassee; the event was cancelled.

Tallahassee's fourth of July celebration site was no sight at all as vendors, city staff and performers had to break down their stuff because it was cancelled.

"This was the fourth year that we've done the event, always had nice sunshine, can't have every year," John Galanti, Cone Distributing, said.

It was disappointing for both families and vendors that came out to have a good time.

Tallahassee Parks and Recs decided to call the show because of safety reasons.

"Everybody's heart-broken, especially in my department," Dee Crumpler, Tallahassee Parks and Recreation, said. "We worked 364 days to make this happen."

This was Scott Forster's first year vending at the show. For him the weather has been a major nuisance.

"A big gust of wind came up, took my awning, tore it right off the side of the trailer, over the top of the trailer and into my truck," Scott Forster, Scott's Smokehouse, said.

But, he was still optimistic about being there and for next year's show the city is ready to start planning.

"We're gonna come back next year and it's gonna be bigger and better," Forster said.

City officials told us this is the first time they've ever had to cancel the annual fireworks show, and they don't plan on rescheduling it.


According to the City of Tallahassee:

The City of Tallahassee has announced that the Celebrate America at Tom Brown 4th of July Celebration has been canceled.

The decision is due to continued weather and safety concerns.

They have also said that the event will not be rescheduled.


By: Garin Flowers

The Fourth of July festivities at Tom Brown park are only a little over an hour away, but, it has been raining nonstop and that has put a damper on some of the plans.

There was a "show-mobile" with performances from dancers and local bands but that has been cancelled. The main show however is expected to begin at 5:30 p.m. A band will perform then there will be a ceremony to swear in new American citizens.


By: Bailey Myers

Tallahassee, Fl: Many are worried things may be a little different at Tom Brown park in Tallahassee this year.

Those who want to see the fireworks are worried they'll get rained out. Still, many vendors I spoke with haven't lost faith.

"Funnel Cakes and Corn Dogs Bloomin Onions, Chicken Tenders" are all fourth of July classics according to Timothy Hartsfield. For 20 years his business Cassie Snow Balls has set up shop on the grass of Tom Brown Park. This year they are doing the same thing, despite the forecasts. Hartsfield explains,"Even if it does rain, well you know whatevers going to happen is going to happen."

These vendors say they will be ready for people to come out and celebrate. The owner of Madi Gras Sno-Balls, David Paul says, "I think we have a lot of die hard people that just look forward to taking a day off and taking a day off with their families."

The field in Tom Brown Park is expected to have thousands of individuals there to watch the Fourth of July fireworks, but mother nature may have another type of show in mind.

City of Tallahassee Spokesman, Michelle Bono explained, "We're alerted when lightning comes within fifteen miles of a location like Tom Brown Park. When it gets within eight miles, we will notify everyone in the area that they need to seek shelter."

The city says lightning will be the only reason the fireworks show would be canceled. So, even if it rains you can still expect a show in the sky.
As Paul said, "Best thing to do is think positive. And hope everybody is safe and enjoys themselves and have a good time."

Here at WCTV, we have been reassured by the City of Tallahassee that all the festivities are still a go for tomorrow.


By: Bailey Myers
July 3, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - All of the festivities from the food to the fireworks are still expected to go on.

People are still hard at work making sure that the stage is ready for the concert which starts at 6. People who sit in the field will see some fireworks rain or shine. The only thing that could stop the display is lightning. If lightning strikes near the park those in the audience will be told to seek shelter. In that case the fireworks will just be rescheduled.

One official even told me the fourth is not the same without fireworks. So they will try their best to make it happen.


By Matt Galka
July 2, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - The soggy weather has some re-thinking their Independence Day plans.

Organizers for one of Tallahassee's biggest celebrations in Tom Brown Park, are prepping for the worst, but hoping for the best. The City of Tallahassee has noticed the wet weather, but that doesn't mean they're not ready to still celebrate the Fourth of July with a bang.

Tallahassee Parks and Recreation crews were doing some last minute touch ups to some of the landscape at Tom Brown Park.

The City will hold their annual "Celebrate America" event on the 4th, even if there's some wet weather.

Mario Palmentieri, Tallahassee Parks and Rec: "You know the weather's always a concern with us, we just need to plan for it, and try to deal with it the best we can, we always push forward."

Mario Palmentieri is in charge of the city's 4th plans. He took me around the park as they prepare to set up, and said they've never had to cancel the event because of rain in the past.

"Rain or shine...the show must go on."

Getting the park red, white, and blue ready is no easy task. The main stage and vendors will start to pour in on Wednesday. With a big turnout expected, the Tallahassee Police Department beefs up their patrols for crowd control.

David Northway, Tallahassee Police Department: "A lot of our citizens come out for it, so we have over 70 officers that will be working on the day of the event."

But the week long prep is all worth it for Palmentieri in the end.

Mario Palmentieri, Tallahassee Parks and Rec: "I just love being able to sit down here and look up and see everyone participating and having a good time, and then of course the fireworks go off and we get to clean up!"


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