July 4th plans taking shape as Lexington plans for ‘normal’ celebration

Posted at 1:25 PM, May 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-27 12:18:37-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — With a red caboose as a backdrop, Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton announced plans for the city’s red, white and blue festivities to celebrate America’s birthday this year.

Speaking from the R.J Corman Railroad site on Oliver Lewis Way (since 2019, this spot has served as the site of the fireworks launch), Gorton announced a return to a more traditional Fourth of July party.

“Bring your chairs, and your snacks and have fun watching the fireworks. Because so many of our residents have followed guidelines and are fully vaccinated, we can enjoy the show in public along with friends and family,” she said.


Last year, the city did pull off a fireworks display, but it had to be socially distanced. And because of the virus, it could not hold the Bluegrass 10K run or the annual concert. Those elements will return this summer, and a virtual race is even being offered as well for those who prefer.

The patriotic concert will involve the marching band from Bryan Station High School and is being done a little differently this year, as there wasn’t enough time to plan a full show, given no one knew if we’d get to this point when that planning began.

One other caveat: Everything is being held one day early; Saturday, July 3.

“When it falls on a Sunday we celebrate the Fourth on the third” said Penny Ebel, Deputy Director of the Parks and Recreation Department. “It’s as simple as that, because we take into account our churches, and folks who make plans on Sundays,” she continued while explaining the need to keep streets open to church traffic on Sundays.

Gorton said the last year has felt like a decade to most of us, so to be able to stage a celebration like this, now, is very rewarding.

“I’ve always been optimistic that we would move through this and get to a better place. And here we are!” she said.

Lexington’s Central Bank location on High Street will be offering free parking to downtown visitors who are coming in for the fireworks display on July 3.