Corn dogs, funnel cakes, snow cones and more will be in abundance this Fourth of July as Texarkana celebrates this year’s Sparks in the Park.
“There will be games, climbing walls, face painting, and a giant 30×30 sandbox for kids. A costume contest, a strollers and rollers contest, and food vendors,” said Ron Bird with Townsquare Media. “We are thrilled to once again be involved in Sparks in The Park. It is a great family event.”
Presented by Southwest Arkansas Electric REA, Bowie Cass Electric, Townsquare Media, the City of Texarkana Arkansas, and many others, Sparks in the Park will be held at the Four States Fairgrounds. But for some, the day will start off elsewhere.
“Our Independence Day celebration will begin with the fishing derby at Bobby Ferguson Park,” said Ross Cowling of Texarkana, Ark., Parks and Recreation. “The Derby goes from 10 a.m. to noon and is sponsored by Arkansas Game and Fish and Texarkana Parks and Recreation. Texarkana radio will be there with a live remote to play music and making announcements,” he said.
Gates at the Four States Fairgrounds, however, will open at 4 p.m.
“We look forward to this great community event every year,” said Andi Darby of Townsquare Media.
The opening ceremonies begin at 6 p.m. and the music starts at 6:30 p.m. featuring the band “Driven” followed by “Dusty Rose.”
Fireworks start at 9:30 p.m. and will last about 20 minutes. “This year, with the event being on the 4th we expect close to 20,000 people,” Bird said.
Entrance to the event, as well as parking, will be free.
Here is a breakdown of the day’s agenda:
• 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Bounce houses; rocking climbing wall; sand box; temporary tattoos, Agricultural Learning Center; Finley’s Barnyard Petting Zoo; Red River Army Depot Display.
• 6 p.m. Arkansas Mayor Wayne Smith welcomes the crowd.
• 6:05 p.m. Arkansas High School Color Guard performs.
• 6:10 p.m. Jemiah Cannon sings the National Anthem.
• 6:15 p.m. Townsquare Media’s DJs thank sponsors and provide details on the evenings activities.
• 6:30 p.m. “Driven” will perform.
• 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Kid’s games.
• 7:45 p.m. Winners of the patriotic costumes and “Strollers and Rollers contests will be announced.
• 8 p.m. “Dusty Rose” performs
• 9:30 p.m. Fireworks
Absolutely no personal fireworks are allowed, no pets are allowed, and attendees may not bring coolers or alcohol into the grounds. There is also no cooking allowed in the parking lot.
Due to the new roadway configuration around the Four States Fairgrounds, Public Information Officer for the Texarkana, Ark., Police Department, Kristi Mitchell, said in a press release, “All drivers and patrons are reminded that police officers will be working traffic on city streets and highways so please be attentive to their instructions for their safety and yours. Speed limits on highway 549 have been reduced.”
As usual, no one will be allowed to illegally park vehicles on city streets and roadways.
“Illegally parked vehicles will be towed at the owner’s expense. Any Vehicle parked improperly inside the park area may be blocked in by other vehicles and will not be able to exit until the end of the event. TAPD encourages everyone to use the designated parking areas only,” she said.
Mitchell said vehicles may enter and exit the parking areas the following ways:
1. From I-30: Parkway Dr. (Hwy 549) to U of A Way to Fair Park Rd. and then left into the main parking lot.
2. From the south: Arkansas Blvd to Frontage Road/Parkway Drive. (Highway 549) north, then onto East 50th St. around to the main parking lot.
3. Traffic to be directed East on E. 46th St. as needed by Police. Vendors will utilize East 46th St. to the south gate.
The Four States Fair personnel will direct vehicles where to park once vehicles have entered the parking areas.
Mitchell said vehicles may exit the parking areas the following ways:
1. Main north parking lot to Fair Park Road then left on U of A Way to Parkway Drive. All traffic must turn north on Parkway Drive.
2. Main north lot to East 46th St. then to Parkway Drive. All exiting traffic entering Parkway Drive. (Highway 549) must turn south on Parkway Drive, then south to Arkansas Blvd., where drivers can turn east or west bound.
3. Vehicles parked inside the fence line (latecomers) must exit the west gate of the fairgrounds onto East 50th St. where they will be directed to Hwy 549. East 50th St. will become a one way, west-bound street after the fireworks show.