Although Mayor Kyle Osborne brought up the possibility of the city of Searcy holding a Fourth of July celebration at Tuesday’s Searcy City Council meeting, he said Monday that the city will not be doing it this year.
At the end of the council meeting, Osborne said he had “this bright idea of trying to put together a Fourth of July gathering at the [Searcy] Event Center” and called a few friends to help him to see if he could put it together. He said they would have a meeting Wednesday morning to see how it all worked out. Osborne mentioned trying to get a few bands and fireworks “if we could get permitted and the bands lined up.”
“It’s a possibility that could happen, but this late in the game, we aren’t exactly sure,” Osborne said Tuesday, adding that the city could ask the Searcy Advertising and Tourism Promotion Commission “for the cost of doing something like that.”
Later in the week, Osborne was considering using an online poll to gauge interest in the idea. However, he had backed off from the possibility of holding an event by Monday. He did not give a reason for his decision, but gatherings in the state are still under some restrictions due to COVID-19.
The city used to contribute to a Fourth of July fireworks show put on by Harding University, but that practice ended years ago. A payment statement from June 2005 showed that the city contributed $1,000 to the event that year and it was discontinued in 2006.
“The fireworks display held on the Harding campus was funded as a cooperative effort between Harding and several local businesses,” said Jonathan Murphy, then-director of Harding news services, in 2018. “The program was discontinued more than 10 years ago after several businesses were no longer able to participate.”
Former Mayor David Morris also told The Daily Citizen in 2018 that he remembers back when Faith Assembly of God had a fireworks display in conjunction with its Summer Funfest when it was held at the Searcy Event Center, but it wasn’t on the Fourth of July. Morris said he had been told that to have a “nice” fireworks show it would take 425,000 to $30,000 but he hadn’t researched it at the time.
Those wanting to see a fireworks display can attend the city of Rose Bud’s third annual Summerfest this weekend. The fireworks show will be Saturday night at dark. The festival begins Thursday. This year’s activities include a carnival, parade, car show, roping, Rambler Alumni Day (on Saturday) and live music. For more information, call City Hall at (501) 556-4967.