HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. — When lightning in the area cleared the AMP at Sam Michaels Park in Harpers Ferry ahead of the much-anticipated annual Independence Day fireworks spectacular Saturday, it took some quick action by first responders and a heavy dose of cooperation from the four thousand folks

Fireworks (Photo: Jefferson Parks and Rec)

assembled to make sure the crowd disbursed orderly and safely.

Jefferson County Parks and Rec Director Jennifer Myers says they had cleared the field when lightning struck close by. “Everybody had been watching the weather.  We knew there was a chance of storms, but everything was shifting around us and it looked like it was going to be a perfect night,” she says.

“We made the decision around 8:45 that we were going to have to shoot the fireworks a little bit early because there were storms popping up.”

Within seconds of making that decision, she says, “We had to make an immediate decision to postpone the fireworks to Sunday night due to some lightning strikes here in the park.”

“Out of nowhere, all of a sudden there was this lightning strike that just so happened that it hit one of the mortars and shot off a firework which immediately at that point canceled the event,” Myers says.

No one was injured, and she credits local law enforcement and a cooperative crowd with getting everyone first out to their vehicles, and then out of the park once the fireworks were canceled.

Parks and Rec folks and their friends rallied to put on not just the fireworks, but also an impromptu community event the following night, and netted an even bigger attendance:

“We made a call to one of our partners that we’d worked with before for the Levitt Series, DJ Ray with Shenandoah Entertainment.  He answered our call at midnight,” Myers remembers.  “He said, ‘I’ll be there.  What time do you need me?'”

“We made an early run to Wal-Mart and bought 1,500 – 2,000 glow sticks that we passed out to kids in the field and we’re like, you know, we may as well make it a fun, big glow party, dance party – have some music and just have a good time.”

“We put some bubble machines up on the stage, and it was great,” Myers says. “Sunday night turned out to be a perfect evening.”

You can read a note of gratitude from parks and rec staff to the community and everyone who came together to make it a successful (unexpectedly two-night) event.

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