Jul. 3—Donna Whitten said she has been attending the Spirit of America festival at Decatur's Point Mallard Park every Fourth of July since she was a child and has seen a lot of changes, but one thing has always remained constant: a fireworks show at the end.
Whitten, chairperson of Spirit of America, said even though she has always been impressed by the fireworks show, she decided to hire Pyro Shows Inc. of Adamsville in 2017 to crank it up a notch.
"About five years ago, the complaint on fireworks was that they weren't high enough; people out in the boats couldn't see them," Whitten said. "So I contacted (Pyro Shows Inc.) and asked, 'What is the very best fireworks show that you can have?'"
Whitten said Pyro Shows Inc. promised her a 15-minute show and told her that for the audience attention span "anything over 15 minutes, you start losing them."
Whitten has not received the bill yet for the fireworks show this year but said it has probably increased from the usual $15,000 because of inflation. She said she is expecting 5,000 to 8,000 people to attend the festival.
Lynn Broad of Pyro Shows Inc. said the show for this year's festival will be like last year's show, which featured hearts, stars, smiley faces and geometric patterns.
"We have added some new patterns," Broad said. "The happy face we have this year is brand new and redesigned. It'll have bigger and brighter colors and those types of things that excite (people)."
Broad said bright red hearts and circles are a part of this year's fireworks package also and there could be more designs. "We had some other new patterns that I'll even be surprised when we see them," he said recently before getting to review the show supplies.
"We'll be shooting 3-inch up to 6-inch shells," Broad said. "It's one of the larger shows in north Alabama."
Whitten said the best viewing spots for the fireworks are on the waters of the Tennessee River and Flint Creek or at the Spirit of America field. Nicole Belcher, Parks and Recreation marketing director, said the soccer fields at Point Mallard Park are also an ideal spot to watch the show.
"We open the soccer field and allow people to bring chairs, blankets, whatever they can sit in," Belcher said. "For the most part, depending on where you park, you're going to be able to see the show from anywhere in the park."
The fireworks show will begin at 9 p.m.
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