Thomasville Times Enterprise

April 18, 2014

Fireworks added to Rose Festival

Patti Dozier

THOMASVILLE — A first for the 66-year-old Rose Festival will take place a couple of hours before midnight on  April 25.

A fireworks display is set for 10 p.m. in the parking lot of the Thomas County Judicial Center, 325 N. Broad St.

The fireworks will immediately follow the 16th annual Rose Festival street dance featuring the Swingin’ Medallions.

The fireworks display idea was born when City of Thomasville tourism officials were discussing bringing the city’s July 4 fireworks and activities to the downtown area.

“From that, we started looking at possible sites,” said Karen Smith, Main Street and Tourism executive director.

Other city officials liked the idea.

“Boom! It flourished,” Smith said.

Fireworks were tested at an old industrial site near the train depot. Spotters were positioned at the grandstand at North Broad and Jefferson streets and elsewhere downtown.

“We did not get the effect we were looking for,” Smith explained.

Fireworks were then tested in the Judicial Center parking lot, which has an elevation 30 feet higher than the former test site.

East Coast Pyrotechnics, which would execute the display, Google-mapped the area and looked at schematics and building locations.

Smith said the site posed no danger of fireworks fallout.

Finding a location from which to launch the fireworks downtown was challenging, Smith said but perseverance paid off.

 The downtown fireworks display involved a number of local agencies.

The Office of Main Street and Tourism was joined by Thomasville Fire/Rescue, Thomasville Police Department, Thomas County Board of Commissioners, Thomas County Emergency Management Agency and the Thomas County Sheriff’s Office in identifying the perfect location.

Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820.