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Bullitt Blast celebration July 4

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By Stephen Thomas

SHEPHERDSVILLE - Many Bullitt Countians have struggled through the country’s most recent recession.

It’s a great reason to let loose and have fun celebrating America’s birthday (in affordable fashion) at the 2009 Bullitt Blast.

The annual Bullitt Blast takes place Saturday, July 4, at the Paroquet Springs Conference Centre, with all the traditional Independence Day fanfare, especially the fireworks.

“We’re getting a full array of different types of fireworks,” said Shepherdsville/Bullitt County Tourism and Convention Commission executive director Elaine Wilson.

Zambelli Fireworks Internationale, the same company that creates the annual Thunder Over Louisville shows, will return to present the Bullitt Blast’s featured showcase.

The fireworks show is schedule for around 9:45 p.m.

Joining this year’s festivities will be Boy Scouts Troops 114 and 215 from Genesee County, Michigan.

Tourism and Convention Commission assistant director Troy Beam said the groups volunteered to perform Color Guard duties on their way to a scheduled camping trip at Land Between the Lakes.   

“That’s 400 miles away and they contacted us to volunteer, so we’re going to use them,” Beam said.

A full day of fun always begins early with the 19th annual Salt River Canoe Race, sponsored by Central Kentucky Canoe and Kayak.

Racers can meet and register at the KOA Kampground in Shepherdsville at 8 a.m. Participants will be transported nine miles to a starting point in Mount Washington.

Beam said anyone pre-registering for the event would be supplied with a canoe or kayak. Anyone wishing to pre-register can call Mike Hammonds, (502) 345-9220 or go to www.kycanoe.com.

Hammonds said the $30 registration fee included a free tee shirt, provided lunch, available canoes and kayaks and shuttle service, along with prizes for the winners.

Plenty of fun activities will fill the afternoon while anticipating the fireworks, beginning with the Hot River Nights Car Show.

From 4-8 p.m. vintage vehicles will be on display in the Paroquet Springs parking lot. Participating car owners can register for $5 between 2 and 4 p.m.

The car show includes musical entertainment and several prizes in multiple categories. The prizes will be distributed to winners at 8 p.m.

For more information on the car show call 921-2400.

A corn hole tournament has become one of the newer Bullitt Blast traditions.

Beam said the contest could include up to 64 teams with an entry fee of $50 per team. The top three teams will earn a cash prize based upon number of team entries.

According to Beam more than 50 teams participated in last year’s event, with the winners visiting from Ohio.

“We had people there from all over,” he said.

The tournament is officially approved by the American Cornhole Association. Registration begins at 3 p.m. with the tournament beginning at 4. For more information call (502) 533-8046 or go to www.lumipic.com.

The full event officially begins at 4 p.m. with rides, a food court, games and tanks on display courtesy of 14th Armored Re-Creations.

The Shepherdsville Police will sponsor a rollover accident simulator. Sgt. Ken Bernardi said the simulator, used with permission from the Kentucky Highway Safety Department, would increase awareness of the dangers of not wearing safety belts.

The Bullitt County YMCA sponsors the outdoor games for ages 5-15. The games will begin at 6 p.m. with prizes included. For more information call 543-3985.

Beam said more rides would be available this year courtesy of Derby City Amusements. Astro Jump plans to add five bounce houses.

The food court includes everything from burgers and hot dogs to funnel cakes with booths from the North Bullitt and Shepherdsville Lions Clubs, RK BBQ and Struggle Buggy.

New to this year’s Bullitt Blast is a petting zoo presented by Wallen Productions of Cox’s Creek. Beam said Wallen would also supply pony rides.

A live DJ, presented by Knight Entertainment and sponsored by Arch L. Heady and Son, will present music outdoors beginning at 5 p.m.

The fun continues inside with the traditional 25-cent old-fashioned ice cream cones sponsored by Tourism and Convention Commission.

At 5:30 Edgewood, a band featuring country and easy listening music, will perform in the Salt River Hall.

Beam said several exhibitors and craft booths would also be presented in the Salt River Hall.

At 7 p.m. the popular pie-eating contest takes place, sponsored by the Bullitt County Women’s Club. Wilson said the contest was free and open to anyone. The winners traditionally earn a free pie.

Wilson and Beam said the fireworks would be presented rain or shine. Umbrellas are welcome outdoors, along with lawn chairs and coolers (A reminder that the Bullitt Blast is a family-friendly event).

Celebrate your independence, your freedom, and your American heritage at the annual Bullitt Blast. For more information call the Paroquet Springs Conference Centre, 543-8687.

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The Shepherdsville Police announced traffic route plans following the Bullitt Blast:

Traffic will exit southbound on Paroquet Springs Drive from the Conference Centre toward the Bullitt County YMCA and Kart Kountry.

Traffic will continue westbound on Vine Street to Carpenter Street, turning southbound (left) onto Carpenter (Carpenter will be closed at Vine toward Highway 44 West).

Traffic will continue on Carpenter to Second Street, under the trestle near Ridgway Memorial Library. Drivers may then turn left or right off of Second onto S. Buckman Street (Highway 61).