TERRE HAUTE —
Dozens of sturdy, colorful fireworks launchers with unlit fuses were lined up just waiting for someone to give the signal for Independence Day celebrations to officially begin.
A couple of hundred yards away, kids played on inflatable slides while others tossed Frisbees or footballs. Parents lay comfortably on blankets or sat in lawn chairs waiting for the big show.
“We like the atmosphere and all they have to do for the kids,” said Ashley Highsmith, who was waiting for the laser show and fireworks display to begin Thursday evening at The Landing at Fort Harrison. She was enjoying her wait with her daughter, Kenli, 2, friend Erin Lambert and mom Glenda Whitecotton. Highsmith’s son, Camden, 7, was nearby playing on one of the many attractions for young people added to The Landing’s offerings this year.
About 750 people attended The Landing’s VIP dinner, said Lucky Reddy, an owner of the northside business on property once owned by the Elks Club. Thousands were expected at the fireworks and laser show, she said.
Mild weather – especially for July – was encouraging good attendance, Reddy said. A laser show was another new attraction this year, drawing more visitors to The Landing.
“We’ve always wanted to do a show with a laser group,” said Jim Stanfill a pyrotechnics expert with decades of experience organizing fireworks shows at The Landing property. The launch takes place on The Landing’s golf course, which is plush and green this year, a striking contrast to two years ago when exceptionally dry weather caused nearly all fireworks shows in the Wabash Valley to be called off. The Landing’s show was one of the few to take place that year.
The City of Terre Haute’s fireworks show is scheduled for tonight at Fairbanks Park. The evening will include a presentation of the colors at 8 p.m. followed by a concert from the Terre Haute Community Band. The fireworks show will begin at dusk.
“We’re entertainers at heart,” said Jason Feder of FullColorLasers.com, the Florida-based company putting on the laser light show at The Landing.
The fireworks and laser shows were expected to last about 25 minutes together, Stanfill said. There would be some additional entertainment from the lasers, also, he said.
In addition to a “bouncy house” and other kids attractions, The Landing also featured several carnival-style food vendors selling popcorn, cotton candy, lemon “shake ups,” and Sati Babis.
“We’ve never seen the laser show so we came out to see that especially,” said Angie Hastings, who was awaiting the start of the show with her daughter Tiffany Morecraft and granddaughter Kynzlee, 2.
Live music was performed by Doll Baby. The fireworks display was presented by Circle City Pyrotechnics Inc. A special ceremony to honor veterans was also part of the evening between 9 and 10 p.m.
Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at 812-231-4232 or firstname.lastname@example.org