Fireworks set for Clanton, Lake Mitchell

Published 1:59 pm Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Chilton County residents won’t have to travel far to enjoy family-friendly celebrations and fireworks for the Fourth of July holiday.

The city of Clanton will host its annual Independence Day fireworks on Saturday, July 5, at 9 p.m. at Clanton City Park.

The fireworks were originally planned for Friday, July 4, but have now been moved to Saturday.

Parking will be first-come, first-served, and those who attend are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or other means of seating.

Lake Mitchell’s annual Independence Day festivities will begin on Friday, July 4, with two boat parades.

The pontoon boat parade will begin at 10 a.m. at the Higgins Ferry boat launch, and the powerboat parade will begin at 1 p.m. at Blue Creek.

Event organizer Jim McCormick said that anyone wanting to decorate their boat and join in the parade should meet in the designated areas at the beginning time for either parade.

“The pontoon boat parade will be a slower paced parade, with the boats getting close to the shores, and people throwing out candy to those on the shores,” McCormick said. “The powerboat parade will move faster. Having two separate parades works well because people get to enjoy the different types of boats, and since we have so many participants every year, it keeps the water less crowded during the parade.”

Friday is only the beginning of Lake Mitchell’s two-day Fourth of July celebration.

The most popular event, according to McCormick, is the fireworks show that unveils the following night.

Patriotic music will play and synchronized fireworks will light up the sky above Cargile Creek on Saturday.

The show begins at 9 p.m., and spectators are encouraged to come early to secure a spot for their boat on Cargile Creek.

“We have a lot of people who watch from the shore, and you can even see the lights from the roads around the lake,” McCormick said. “All of the fireworks will reach heights of about 300 to 600 feet, and we have monster speakers set up so that everyone can hear the patriotic music we play during the show.”

According to McCormick, the set-up crew spends hours in advance synchronizing certain fireworks to particular song lyrics on a computer, so that the show runs smoothly.

“We have hundreds of boats come out every year,” McCormick said. “I’ve been helping out with this for 26 years, and I never get tired of watching people enjoy [the show]. It brings the Lake Mitchell family together every year.”

Boaters may access Lake Mitchell from the Higgins Ferry boat ramp.

When coming from Interstate I-65, take the Lake Mitchell exit, and then take County Road 28 until it dead-ends at Higgins Ferry Park.