Estimated 10,000 gather to watch fireworks at Red, White and BOOM

Steve Chapman

The City of Mt. Vernon hosted their annual Independence Day celebration, Red, White and BOOM on Friday, June 28 at the Spirit of ’76 Park. The event, free and open to the public, featured a number of attractions, including free swim, live music, laser tag, and a fireworks display.
The event began with the free swim at the city pool at about 2 p.m. At any time during the free swim, about 300 people were in the pool.
“We usually have around 300,” said Tammy McCanless, swimming pool manager. “It usually stays pretty steady between 300 and 350 on days like this.”
Several people enjoyed the free laser tag later in the day, and the band Papa Green Shoes, out of Springfield, returned to the festival for a live performance. It was the band’s second time to appear at Red, White and BOOM. Carol Millsap McIntyre, one of the event organizers, said she hoped the band would return for future Red, White and BOOM festivals.
“A lot of people came out for the band, because they’re fantastic,” she said. “I hope we get them back.”
A new attraction at the festival this year were temporary tattoos, provided courtesy of Knuckles Deep Tattoo. They gave out several hundred free tattoos to children during the evening.
McIntyre said the great thing about the event is the way it brought families together, and got kids to disconnect from their phones.
 “We had some extra things and entertainment for people, and they could come out and make it a big family event in the park,” she said. “And it’s exciting to see that the kids aren’t sitting at home on their phones. They’re out, and they’re mingling and they’re communicating with each other and they’re laughing and having a great time. Free laser tag is just a plus something for them to do.”
Of all Red, White and BOOM’s features, however, the most popular remained the firework display, which closed out the evening. About 2,000 people gathered in the park to watch the display, while an estimated 8,000 others gathered outside of the park to watch.
“The fireworks have always been the draw,” said McIntyre.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


Please Login for Premium Content