Despite heat, fireworks show, day of activities remains ready to pop

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By Stephen Thomas

 SHEPHERDSVILLE - On July 4 the United States of America celebrates its 236th birthday on the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

This year also means that for officially one percent of those celebrations (rounded up), Bullitt County has hosted its own official party.

The 11th annual Fourth of July Bullitt Blast returns to the Paroquet Springs Conference Center on Wednesday.

Bullitt Blast co-chair Jackie Allgeier said Bullitt Blast has become the biggest annual event at the Conference Centre. She and fellow co-chairs Troy Beam and Vicki Downing continue to strive for bigger and better each year.

"Our staff graciously opens the building and works hard to make this a great Fourth of July celebration," Allgeier said.

The key word of this event is "Blast," with Zambelli Fireworks supplying the traditional show. The fireworks display acts as the exclamation point on a full day of fun and events.

"They've done it for us every year," Allgeier said of the Zambellis, who are known for their efforts at Thunder Over Louisville.

The big day technically gets underway with the return of the Salt River Canoe Race. Contestants will begin at the KOA Campground on Highway 44 East and row their way back to the Conference Center.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. with the race beginning at 9 a.m. Registration is $15. For more information call (502)802-7522 or (502)992-9388.

Not long after the canoes reach the finish line, the dry motorized vehicles take center stage at the annual Bullitt Blast Car Show hosted by Louisville Lead Rod and Custom Car Club.

Gate fee is $10. Registration takes place between 10 a.m. and noon. An award ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. A 50/50 drawing will also take place. For more information call 955-6070 or (502)424-3500.

The Bullitt Blast officially gets underway at 4 p.m., including kids games, inflatable bouncies, food vendors and exhibitor booths. New rides will be available this year courtesy of S&S Amusements.

Also new to the fun this year is miniature golf, while Allgeier was pleased to announce the return of pony rides. 

The 14th Armored Re-Creations Military Show will return with their repertoire of classic vehicles and memorabilia. The Shepherdsville Police Department will feature their rollover display to show what happens when car passengers do not wear their safety belts.

Allgeier thanked Bud White and scouts from Troop 20 who will create the 'Avenue of Flags' that will greet guests along Paroquet Springs Drive. The flags were donated courtesy of VFW Post 5710.

The Bullitt Blast is just not the Bullitt Blast without the traditional 25-cent ice cream cones. Allgeier was excited about Ehrler's Dairy being selected as this year's official ice cream sponsor.

There's always live entertainment at the Bullitt Blast. This year will feature local singers including Ron Meeh of Shepherdsville and Amber Sewell from Mount Washington.

Other performers include Jessica Rausch of Bardstown, Clinton Spaulding from Louisville, Mary Kutter from Lebanon, and Impossible Magic from Cynthiana.

Outdoor music will be provided from the gazebo area courtesy of Rhythm and Rhyme with DJ Darren P'Pool.

Another Bullitt Blast tradition, not for the faint of heart or stomach, is the annual pie eating contest sponsored by the Bullitt County Women's Club with pies donated by Gordon Food Service. How much pie can you eat in a hurry, without using your hands?

Although ice cream, inflatable bouncies and pies have become staples of the day, the real celebration is the fireworks event in honor of our independence and freedom. A military color guard will present colors and perform The National Anthem prior to the fireworks display.

Allgeier said the fireworks generally begin about 9:45 p.m. Conference Centre officials remain cautious of dry weather conditions, maintaining contact with local officials. They remain positive that the show will go as planned.

Shepherdsville Fire chief  Layne Troutman said he had the authority to approve the fireworks. He felt that the location of the display was in a safe area and would likely not pose a threat for a cancellation.

"There's not a lot in that area to worry about," he said, mentioning the parking lot surface where the fireworks will be triggered.

Troutman said SFD would have a truck at the launch site as well as one at the Conference Centre during the show.

For updates on the fireworks show status check www.travelbullitt.org.

Along with Paroquet Springs Conference Centre, Bullitt Blast feature sponsors include Jim Beam, Publishers Printing and The Pioneer News.

Other sponsors include: Abiding Travel; Ad Success Marketing; Advantage Plus; Amazing Signs; Bullitt County American Legion Post 157; Bullitt County Tourist and Convention Commission; Bullitt Fiscal Court; Century 21; City of Shepherdsville; First Federal Savings Bank; Gordon Food Service; Jewish Hospital Medical Center South - Kentucky One Health; Kart Kountry; Knob Creek Gun Range; LG&E; Monica Meredith Robinson - Bullitt County Attorney; Newcomb Oil Co.; Park Community Federal Credit Union; PBI Bank; Peoples Bank of Bullitt County; PNC Bank; Proud Mamma Decals; Rep. Linda Belcher; Republic Bank; Sleep Inn & Suites; Small Town Gallery; Stockyards Bank; Sunbelt Rental.

For more information about Bullitt Blast call 543-8687.