MOUNT VERNON — Ariel-Foundation Park will host Mount Vernon’s fireworks on Sunday, July 4. The fireworks, expected to start around 10 p.m., will be preceded by a concert by Face-2-Face, the premier Billy Joel and Elton John tribute, at 6:30 p.m. in the Schnormeier Event Center.
Face-2-Face is a powerhouse line-up of outstanding musicians featuring two of the most authentic and entertaining tribute artists in the business, Ronnie Smith as Elton John and Mike Santoro as Billy Joel. This is not your typical tribute act, but a true interactive show that plays all of the hits, the beloved B-Sides and everything in between. For the true Elton John and Billy Joel fans who expect more than just flashy costumes, goatees and sunglasses. It is captivating, engaging and unpredictable, like seeing Elton John or Billy Joel, so much so that you’ll quickly forget you’re watching a tribute band!
Volunteers will help park attendees upon arrival. A majority of parking will be available at The Lakes and the Schnormeier Event Center, entering from Madison Avenue; near the Clock House off of Pittsburg Avenue; and in the parking area off of Harcourt Road. A limited amount of handicapped spaces will be available on a first-come, first-served basis in the Event Center lot. Please note that there is no parking on the grass but in designated areas only. As parking gets filled at the park, roads leading into the park from Columbus Road will be closed. They will still be open to pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Norton Street will be closed and utilized for Knox Area Transit shuttles only.
“Event guests should take the time to think about their best exit strategy before determining where to park,” advised Lt. Rex Young of the Mount Vernon Police Department. “This will make a huge difference in getting folks out quickly and smoothly to end the evening on a positive note for everyone.” Those exiting the park from Madison Avenue will only be allowed to go north; there will be three lanes of dedicated north-bound traffic from Columbus Rd. at the viaduct traffic signal. Cars exiting the park from Pittsburgh Ave. will only be allowed to go south on Columbus Road. Those at the intersection of Parrott Street and South Main will only be allowed to turn south or go straight to Newark Rd. Those exiting to Harcourt Road can go either direction.
Additional parking areas within walking distance of the Park include downtown lots and downtown street parking (time restrictions will be waived on July 4), the CA&C Depot on South Main Street and Memorial Park. Attendees can use the bike trail to walk into the park and are advised to use the new “Riverwalk” under the viaduct bridge for faster “no wait” exiting. Knox Area Transit provide several shuttles to two pick-up and drop-off locations approximately every 15 minutes: Mount Vernon High School Energy Field lot and the corner of East Ohio Ave. and South Gay St. from 4-11 p.m.
Food service will begin at 5 p.m. and food vendors will be stationed throughout the park. They include Ain’t Your Mama’s Kitchen, Annie’s Concessions, Roadside Lunchbox, Dreia’s Kitchen, Buddy’s Local Eats, Big Pappy’s BBQ, Whit’s Frozen Custard, Ohio Snoballs, Larry Woolson, Round Hill Dairy and Sweet Treats. Beer and wine will also be available.
Super Q 93.7 FM will be broadcasting live starting at 6 p.m. by The Lakes; Super Q 93.7 FM will simulcast the music to the fireworks display. Only alcohol purchased on site is allowed in the Event Center. Smoking and pets are also prohibited inside the Event Center. Event goers sitting on the lawn, terraces, or on the Event Center patio should bring their own chairs. Tables of eight are available for $75 by advanced reservation only online at arielfoundationpark.org.
Those interested in spending the day on the water or watching the fireworks on The Lakes side of the park are encouraged to bring kayaks and canoes, outfitted with appropriate life jackets. Swimming is prohibited. Park visitors may climb Rastin Observation Tower until 8 p.m. Please note that the Urton Clock House Museum will be closed to the public this year.
In order to secure the area for the fireworks presentation, the road through The Woods will be closed beginning at 4 p.m. The main park road in front of the Event Center will also be closed at 4 p.m. allowing pedestrian and accessible parking traffic only. Pittsburgh Avenue will be closed from the Clock House parking lot to Seventh Avenue starting at 4 p.m. (residential traffic only). The fireworks display is made possible by the City of Mount Vernon and Ariel Corporation.
“We have a plan to get event-goers out of the Park as quickly and safely as possible after the fireworks, provided people follow the direction of the police, sheriff’s deputies and other security personnel on duty,” said Mark Fritz, Operations Director for Ariel-Foundation Park. “As in previous years, we are confident this will be a great event and expect that attendees will cooperate to make it a positive experience for everyone.”
Suggested alternative locations from which to view the fireworks include Arch Park, the Harcourt Road parking area for Ariel-Foundation Park, CA&C Depot, or Memorial Park.
For more information about Ariel-Foundation Park or July 4 activities, including a traffic/parking map, please visit www.arielfoundationpark.org or follow the park on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.