Instead Of Traditional July 4 Fireworks, Minneapolis To Have Lasers
Residents in Minneapolis may want to see fireworks at Boom Island Park to celebrate Independence Day, but that's not what they're going to get this year.
Twin Cities news outlets are reporting that in lieu of fireworks, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) has ordered lasers. The new laser light show will take place on July 3 at Boom Island Park.
This will be part of a new, family-friendly event called “Red, White and Boom Island” that will also feature food trucks arriving at 8:00 p.m. The 25-minute 'Patriotic Laser Show' is scheduled to begin at 10:00 p.m.
It's important to note that, unlike traditional fireworks which can be viewed from a distance, the laser show will only be visible from Boom Island Park, those across the Mississippi River will not be able to see it. "Red White, and Boom Island" is free and open to everyone.
According to StarTribune, the decision to have a laser show over fireworks was partly financial, with a display costing between $4,000 and $10,000. Furthermore, Park Police Chief Jason Ohotto said they wouldn't have the staff to support a big fireworks display. The staffing shortage is due in large part to Taste Of Minnesota, which is taking place the same weekend on Nicollet Mall.
Whether this is the beginning of a new tradition in Minneapolis remains to be seen. KSTP-TV is reporting that an MPRB spokesperson said the laser show is something new the board is trying this year and a decision hasn’t been made on whether or not to bring back fireworks in the future.
For Minneapolis residents, this is better than nothing. Minneapolis hasn’t had fireworks for July 4 since 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic canceled the festivities in 2020. Then, in 2021 and 2022, the board encouraged smaller neighborhood events due to staffing issues. This year there will at least be a single, central event for residents to attend.
While Boom Island Park didn’t have any official events last year, there was a shooting at the park that injured several people. In response to that unfortunate event, officials will block off the Stone Arch Bridge this holiday weekend.
For those in Minneapolis wanting a full-scale fireworks display, perhaps a road trip is in order. The guide above will give you ideas on the best places to go to celebrate the 4 Of July.