The Lacey Fireworks Spectacular and Freedom Concert will be in Rainier Vista Park on Sunday — and city officials hope it will become the permanent location for the annual event.
The show had been based at William A. Bush Park on Yelm Highway the past four years, but the venue was really too small, said Mary Coppin, community liaison for the city.
Because of the size of the park and safety concerns, no one was allowed to view the fireworks in the actual park. That meant spectators were pushed to business parking lots in the area to watch the show — or they stood in Yelm Highway to watch it, another safety concern, she said.
Rainier Vista Park at 5475 45th Ave. SE is 46 acres, compared with Bush Park’s 8.5-acre site, plus Rainier Vista is surrounded by a residential area. Coppin hopes that encourages people to walk to the park rather than drive. Rainier Vista has parking, but not enough to accommodate the hundreds of people who come for the show.
No park in Lacey has enough parking to accommodate the crowds, she added.
“We understand that parking is going to be an issue, so we’re trying to make the show worth a 20-minute walk,” she said. “Make it an adventure and we’ll make it worth your while.”
South Sound Shopping Center on Sleater-Kinney Road hosted the show for 45 years as a gift to the city from Capital Development Co. and Bob Blume, the developer of the center, Coppin said. The show moved to Bush Park in 2012 after an updated operating agreement between the major retailers in the shopping center ended the event.
On-site parking at Rainier Vista opens at 3 p.m. Sunday, the concert begins at 5 p.m., and the fireworks begin at 10 p.m., Coppin said.
Some city event guidelines:
▪ Bring a flashlight or headlamp to safely navigate in the park after dark.
▪ Personal fireworks and alcohol are prohibited.
▪ No RVs or trailers are allowed in the parking lot. First-come, first-served. No “saving” additional spots.
▪ Lacey police will be on hand.
Two bands are set to perform at the concert: The Blackberry Bushes Stringband, and British Export, a Beatles tribute band.