Wow! I have to say the Williamsburg fireworks display at the Kentucky Splash waterpark Saturday evening was probably the best fireworks show there that I have ever seen in my more than 25 years of covering Williamsburg.
Organizers started the show a little earlier than usual before the night black sky set in, which made for some very pretty pictures with the fireworks going off while having a nice blue, post sunset sky behind them.
There were more than a few times where I found myself wondering if this was the finale, but no, more fireworks kept coming.
Kudos to Williamsburg firefighters and police office officers, who did a great job of directing traffic out of the waterpark afterwards. I got on I-75 at 10:17 p.m. Saturday, which is probably the quickest that I have ever gotten out of there.
Waterpark workers sold over 600 rubber ducks for the duck derby Saturday, which was a record number. Waterpark Manager Diane Bruers told me that they probably could have sold more, if they had had them made.
For those that don’t know, people purchase ducks for the duck derby and were assigned a set number of ducks depending on how much they spent. I bought four ducks for $15. My ducks were number 531-534. (I’m still don’t think they have crossed the finish line yet…LOL.)
At the requisite time, Williamsburg Mayor Roddy Harrison dumps all the ducks into the Lazy River, which circles around the waterpark. The first 25 ducks or so then qualify for the second championship heat with the winner taking home the $500 first place prize. There were other prizes for second and third place, which largely included gift cards.
Why the Duck Derby is a big deal is because it is a fundraiser for the Williamsburg Police Department Shop with a Cop program. All the money after the $500 first place prize goes to help provide less fortunate children with a $100 shopping spree at Walmart at Christmas time.
This is a great program that they weren’t able to have last year due to the pandemic. This is probably one of my favorite events to cover each year, and I’m not sure whether the kids or the organizers have a better time. The smiles on the kid’s faces are priceless.
This is a cause that I have donated too multiple times over the years, and I would encourage you to also give whether it is the Shop for a Cop event in Williamsburg or Corbin.
Another great Independence Day event that I went to Saturday was the Let Freedom Ring bell ringing ceremony, which was held in front of the Hutton Business Building on the campus of the University of the Cumberlands. The building is a cool replica of Independence Hall, and my favorite building to take pictures of at the school.
The local chapters of the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution hold the ceremony each year in honor of the 13 original colonies. At the close of the ceremony, a replica of the Liberty Bell is rung 13 times in honor of the original colonies, which later became the first 13 states.
This is a wonderful event that recognizes the real meaning of the Fourth of July.
Circuit Judge Dan Ballou was the keynote speaker Saturday, and delivered a nice speech about love of God and country. He also spoke about the importance of having loyalty not to one political party or the other, but instead to the constitution, which is a cornerstone document the principles of which our country was founded upon.
There were about 50 people present for the bell ringing ceremony, which is the largest turnout for it that I can ever remember.