Dubuque's 3rd of July celebration ready to launch - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque's 3rd of July celebration ready to launch


Tens of thousands of people will enjoy Dubuque's 27th annual 3rd of July Fireworks and Air Show Spectacular, along the Mighty Mississippi by Lock and Dam 11.

Between Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois and the river, event organizers estimate more than 250,000 people will watch the air show and fireworks.

The festivities take place at the point in Dubuque: along Kerper Boulevard and up by A.Y. McDonald Park. There, organizers estimate a crowd size of 60,000. That's about the size of the population of Dubuque packed into one area.

Dubuque fire marshal Mark Ludescher said, with the large crowd sizes and hot weather, anyone attending the event should make sure they drink plenty of water.

Also, Ludescher said, leave the fireworks to the professionals.

"In the state of Iowa, the only thing that's legal are snakes, caps and sparklers. That's it. Not the snaps. Not fire crackers. Not bottle rockets."

Sparklers, he said, can reach anywhere from 1,100 to 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit. Vegetation ignites around 450 degrees.

Perry Mason with Radio Dubuque organizes the event. He suggests people who plan on bringing their vehicles get to the event site sooner rather than later.

"Come early and don't look to get out of here right away," he said, about the post-fireworks rush to leave. "The police will let the foot traffic leave the area first, and then we'll let car traffic go. The police do an excellent job controlling the traffic, but safety is a must."

Mason said drivers should expect to wait 35 to 45 minutes after the fireworks show before being able to leave.

Parking, as always, will be available in lots along Kerper Boulevard, through the Dubuque Jaycees, but once those lots fill up -- and there's no telling exactly when that might be -- Dubuque police will close down Kerper Boulevard to vehicular traffic. After that, it's just pedestrians.

Everybody can enjoy this event, organizers say, with plenty of water, patience and a spirit of fun.

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