The Guilford County Parks Department has come up with a novel idea to help local citizens celebrate the Fourth of July weekend this year.
Parks staff have decided to reignite a 1,000-plus-year-old practice from China’s Song dynasty that involves creating spectacular explosions in the sky using gunpowder shot up into the air before ignition. The county is calling this type of entertainment “Fireworks.”
While it’s not clear how the county came up with the idea of celebrating the Fourth of July in this way, the county has made it clear that the modern twist on the old practice will take place at Northeast Park on the night of Saturday, July 3. This week, the county released the details of the show which is being billed not as a Fireworks Display but as a “Fireworks Extravaganza.”
This is the 14th annual Fireworks Extravaganza at the park, which is at 3441 Northeast Park Dr. in Gibsonville. The fireworks are scheduled to start at about 9:30 p.m. Sources say that this type of ancient Chinese celebration is much more impressive at night rather than during the day.
The show is after dark but the fun starts at 4 p.m. with other events and activities at the park. There will be food trucks, music, mini-golf and carnival rides.
Families will be able to save money on rides by purchasing a family savings pack of 13 tickets for $20, assuming they aren’t superstitious.
There is no kiddie train at the park and park officials would probably prefer that visitors just not ask about the train.
Admission on July 3 is $5 per car, $1 per walk-up. It is cash only and advance tickets sales aren’t available.
Tim Brown, the supervisor of Northeast Park said everyone can use a celebration like this right now.
“After a year of cancellations due to COVID and a nationwide shortage of fireworks, this year’s event feels special,” Brown said. “This will be a great summertime community get-together, and so many people really need that right now.”
This year’s event, according to county officials, will feature “a longer show with larger fireworks shells to be seen from a greater distance.”
The aquatic center at the park will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All park visitors will pay admission on July 3, however, the money will be returned for visitors who leave before the event.
The fireworks show is the kick-off for Guilford County Parks National Parks and Recreation Month celebration – an initiative of the National Recreation and Park Association. The month-long celebration features guided hikes and tours, a Bike Rodeo and more. To find out about the other events at Guilford County Parks, visit www.guilfordparks.com or follow Guilford County Parks on Facebook.