Elyria is preparing to hold an Independence Day fireworks celebration for the first time since 2008.
Elyria’s 2014 Salute to America: The Great American Picnic and Fireworks Show will be held from 4 to 11 p.m. on July 2 at WestPark, 1200 Foster Ave.
The park will open to the public at 4 p.m., with the picnic beginning at 4:30 p.m. when concession stands and vendors open.
The local vendors who will be offering food include CoFields Barbecue, Marcos Pizza, Donna’s Diner, Sambinos Pizza, By The Slab, and Hershey’s Ice Cream.
ElyriaParks and Recreation staff will provide family games, activities, face painting and more from 6 to 7:45 p.m. Yellow Delicious will provide live entertainment from 8 to 9:30 p.m.
Starting at 9:30 p.m., Mayor Holly Brinda will give a welcome address and introduce the presenting sponsors. The American Legion Post 12 will present the colors for the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by Elyria High graduate JC Conley performing the Star Spangled Banner.
The fireworks show will begin at about 10 p.m., and last until about 10:30 p.m.
Attendees will be allowed to bring blankets, beach towels, tarps, lawn chairs, personal-size umbrellas, sealed water bottles, wagons and coolers into the park.
The following items will be prohibited: fireworks or sparklers, play pens, throwing or batting toys, skateboards or inline skates, bicycles, laser pointers, alcohol, weapons, illegal drugs, tents, large golf umbrellas, large flags, and animals (except service dogs).
The city and area businesses are working to create parking for this event however, there will still be a limited number of parking spots available. Attendees are encouraged to carpool.
Parking on the streets will be limited, so pay attention to posted signage.
Parking will be prohibited on Penfield from Lowell Street to Foster Avenue; Foster Avenue from Woodland Avenue to the park entrance; and Oakwood Street from Penfield Avenue to Clemens Avenue.
Only residential traffic will be permitted on Penfield, Rockfern and Seneca avenues.
The West Park South Parking Lot will open at 5 p.m. for limited general parking on a first-come, first-serve basis. Cars should enter the south parking lot via the west drive off Lowell Street. The east entrance will be blocked off for pedestrian traffic.
Handicap parking can be access by entering the Central West Park Parking Lot via the Foster Avenue entrance. A handicap parking tag will be required to gain access.
Free parking will be available at the following businesses: Kennedy’s Cycle, 1019 Lowell St.; the former FirstMerit Bank Building, 1000 Lowell St.; Matt-A-Mattic, 810 Lowell St.; Plasto-Tech, 708 Lowell St.; Original Glorious Apostolic Church, 616 Foster Ave.; Thomas Jefferson School, 616 Foster Ave.; Leggit & Platt, grass lot at corner of Lowell Street and Woodland Avenue; Lowell Street Baptist Church, 642 Lowell St.; and the vacant grass lot on the north side of Lowell Street, between Waverly Street and West Park Recycling.
Parking will be available at the close of business for each location, and varies by location. All parking at these locations is at your own risk.
Traffic patterns in the area will be adjusted for the event.
Traffic exiting the park will be directed east on Foster Avenue to Lake Avenue. Traffic will be prohibited from turning north on Penfield and Woodland, as well as turning south on Penfield, Rockfern, Seneca and Woodland. Motorists will also be prohibited from traveling south on Penfield and Woodland from Spruce Street to Foster Avenue.
West of the east Lowell Street entrance to the West Recreation South Parking Lot, motorists will be directed west on Lowell Street. East of the east Lowell Street entrance to the West Recreation South Parking Lot, motorists will be directed east on Lowell Street to Lake Avenue. Traffic will be prohibited from turning north on Penfield, Rockfern, Seneca and Woodland avenues from Lowell Street will be prohibited.
Westbound traffic on Foster Avenue and Lowell Street (from Lake to Penfield) will be prohibited until after traffic has been cleared from the areas immediately surrounding the park.
The city will enforce a citywide curfew at the park beginning at 11:30 p.m. to encourage citizens to leave WestPark and the neighborhood immediately after the fireworks show.