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July Fourth fireworks move to community center

June 26, 2013 at 1:26 a.m.

Nathaniel Kirkpatrick, 2, watches the fireworks display on the shoulders of his father, Chris Kirkpatrick, in the parking lot of the Victoria Mall on the Fourth of July.

Victoria's July Fourth celebration is moving back to the Victoria Community Center.

Shooting off the fireworks at Ethel Lee Tracy Park and viewing from the Victoria Mall caused too many complaints, said MicKayla Mosmeyer, recreation specialist for Victoria Parks and Recreation.

"The surrounding neighborhoods were getting too much debris from fireworks that had already gone off, and the community center had better access for parking," she said.

Brooke Horadam, who lives near Ethel Lee Tracy Park, said though her neighborhood did get pretty bad debris from the fireworks, she never complained.

"It was not a bad price to pay for front row tickets to the show," Horadam said, adding that the city picked up most of the debris, and residents just picked up what they could find.

She said most of her neighborhood liked having the fireworks so close.

"I'm disappointed they moved it. We have really enjoyed it. I think most of the people in the neighborhood did," Horadam said.

Margaret Ulmer, 67, who lives near the community center, said she is excited for the event to come closer to home.

She was disappointed when the show moved across town because traffic made it difficult to attend. She has never complained about the noise or debris falling.

"It is just one day - they have the carnival over here, and that makes more noise than the fireworks, and the fireworks don't last that long," Ulmer said, ready to view the fireworks again.

Kim Everhart, who does not live in either neighborhood, said the move back to the community center is a poor one because the community center has less parking. She has attended every fireworks show held at the mall but does not plan to go this year.

"There is no way they will fit all those people who went to the mall and could park at the mall, Discount Tire, First Victoria National Bank - everywhere. There is no way those little cars will fit in that little parking lot," Everhart said.

She said in either location there will be an opportunity for residents to complain, but for the sake of the July Fourth celebration, they should be considerate of the rest of the community.

"It is one night - come on people," she said, frustrated.

The event is cosponsored by Hartman Distributing, which is putting on the 45-minute firework show.

Hartman is contributing $11,000 to pay for the show, and the city pays $14,000, Mosmeyer said.

Food and drink vendors will be available and music provided, but there will not be activities for children.

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