Fireworks show to return to Johnston City - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Fireworks show to return to Johnston City

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JOHNSTON CITY -- City leaders in Johnston City have teamed up with a national chain restaurant to bring a fireworks show back to the city after several years without one.

City leaders said the return is a sign the city is growing. 

Organizers are scrambling to prepare for what they call the biggest show in Southern Illinois this summer.

Mayor Jim Mitchell and his son, Grant Mitchell, have been the driving force into getting everything ready for the June 29 show. The Mitchell's said it will be a Disney-themed fireworks display and won't just be any ordinary firework show.

"The show we're making is a fully choreographed to music concert in the sky, unlike anything Southern Illinois has seen before," Grant Mitchell said. "Not just a regular firework show, it will truly be something spectacular."

Mayor Mitchell said the idea for a fireworks show came when a national chain reached out to them.

"They wanted a Midwestern town, a small Midwestern town that hadn't had fireworks in years," Mayor Mitchell said, "and Grant told them, 'Well, that's us.'"

That chain cannot be named until the contract has been finalized.

After several years without a show, people in Johnston City are excited to hear the tradition is returning this year.

"It's a tradition that we used to have down here, or it used to be a part of the Fourth of July," said Rich Felts, of Johnston City, "and I think it would be great to bring it back."

Grant Mitchell said everyone is scrambling to renovate the Arrowhead Lake Amphitheater for the show.

"The sponsoring company, the film crews, all the different entities, coming together at once," he said, "so it's a very big effort to make this happen, and we're all scrambling in all directions to see that it does."

Mayor Mitchell said he expects the event to bring in large crowds to the city.

"I'm sure we'll draw several thousand people from around the area to come and view the fireworks," he said. "Like I said, it's going to be different than anything we've had."

People in Johnston City said a crowd like that would do wonders for businesses in town.

"Johnston City has been expanding and growing and it would be nice to bring new people around," Felts said, "and I think that would be great for the economy."

Mayor Mitchell said the return of fireworks to Johnston City is a sign the town is heading in the right direction.

"We've been working, and there's a whole lot of people in this town, working to get this town on its feet, and sparkling like it once did," he said, "and I think we're reaching that point."

Festivities for the fireworks show begin with music at the amphitheater at 5:00 p.m on June 29.

Those interested in seeing the show can come out tot the amphitheater, or can watch from the comfort of their homes via Facebook Live.

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