Roeland Park moves forward with plans in hopes of having Fourth of July fireworks

Roeland Park fireworks

Roeland Park canceled its annual Fourth of July display at Bishop Miege High School last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Plans for this year's show, which is put on jointly with Fairway and Westwood, are moving forward, though no specific date has been set.

Roeland Park is proceeding with plans to hold its annual Fourth of July fireworks display at Bishop Miege High School this year after canceling last year’s show because of COVID-19.

At the city council’s Monday night workshop, councilmembers unanimously supported having Parks and Recreation Superintendent Tony Nichols direct the city of Fairway to secure a vendor and have the two cities and Westwood start jointly planning the event.

Ward 1 Councilmember Tom Madigan and Ward 3 Councilmember Claudia McCormack were absent.

As in years past, the fireworks would be staged on the baseball field at Bishop Miege, 5041 Reinhardt Drive, Assistant City Administrator Jennifer Jones-Lacy said.

Spectators would be able to gather there and on the grounds of St. Agnes Catholic Church, 5250 Mission Road, and St. Agnes Catholic School, 5130 Mission Road.

Roeland Park has allotted $2,500 to contribute to the event, Jones-Lacy said.

Nichols said the current Johnson County health order — which removes limits on mass gatherings and allows fairs, festivals and carnivals — would apply to the Fourth of July celebration.

The health order does currently require six feet of social distancing and face masks to be worn outdoors in public spaces for those who do not live together and cannot maintain six feet of distance other than for brief periods.

The countywide health order expires April 30, and it’s not clear if county commissioners will renew it again as vaccinations continue to pick up in Johnson County.

Mayor Mike Kelly asked whether the event was planned for Saturday, July 3. Nichols said the date has not yet been determined.

Kelly said it was important to encourage outdoor activities this year after disruptions caused by COVID-19.

“I think everybody’s ready for it,” Kelly said. “I think we can promote safe practices to make it as safe as possible.”

Ward 4 Councilmember Michael Rebne said the community engagement committee had discussed supporting some other activities along with fireworks and asked whether that was still possible.

Nichols said he would propose the idea for discussion among Roeland Park, Fairway and Westwood.

Roeland Park’s annual Fourth of July fireworks display at Bishop Miege is one of northeast Johnson County’s biggest. But it wasn’t the only Johnson County city to cancel last year amid the pandemic.

Overland Park canceled its fireworks display at Founders’ Park in Corporate Woods last June because of COVID-19.

Prairie Village and Leawood also canceled their fireworks displays last year.