By Karen Daniels
By all accounts, the 2013, two-night 4th of July celebration was a success, but that didn’t stop Susan Ricks, Director with the City of Stafford, from presenting her thoughts to City Council on how to make next year’s event even better. She said, “We had several people that had never been to the Stafford Centre, both days come up to the staff to say what a great venue it was.”
Susan thanked Charles Russell and his crew for the new lighting, stating what a big difference it was not having the noise from the generator. She made several recommendations for 2014: additional lighting in the children’s area, near the line for the hay wagon ride was needed. The corner of this area was a little dark. Another suggestion about lighting was to change the circuits from single to dual for the parking lot. At the end of the symphony, all of the lights were turned off in preparation for the fireworks show, but people were still exiting the theater. Ms. Ricks said that if they separate the electricity it would allow the City to turn off the lights by sections.
Mayor Scarcella heard good things from the attendees. “So many people felt the patriotic concert was not only entertaining, but one of the most uplifting aspects of the whole Fourth of July.” He thanked Congressman Al Green for participating in both days of the Stafford celebration.
Lastly, Susan informed Council that the fireworks companies begin taking orders now for next year’s celebration and she will be researching companies that provide more “specialty” fireworks. Councilman Fred Woolridge asked if this year’s show was shorter. He noted that the fireworks display lasted 16 minutes. Ms. Ricks said that the same amount of fireworks were used, however the pyrotechnic handling the fireworks moved at a faster pace. Councilman Cecil Willis suggested that next year the City make the request to go slower. Councilman Wen Guerra thanked Charles Russell and his team, and Susan Ricks and her team, for “putting on such a great festival.”