Some patriotic activities for Independence Day have been scaled back this year, but Bartlesville-area residents can still hear and see the night light up with fireworks.


The Kiwanis Club, which hosts the Bartlesville fireworks show, had big plans for the Fourth of July this summer but then the coronavirus pandemic came along.


“COVID-19 impacted Freedom Fest activities this year by creating uncertainty about what and how activities could be offered safely,” said Karen Wilson, Freedom Fest co-chair. “The decision was made to eliminate activities that could not be offered effectively with safe distancing. City officials worked with Kiwanis to allow us to offer the fireworks show in Sooner Park where families can view from their vehicles and lawn chairs in surrounding parking lots or from backyards in nearby neighborhoods.”


The club, celebrating its centennial anniversary this year, opted for a return to Sooner Park. The Jaycees hosted the fireworks in Sooner Park for many years before the Kiwanis Club took it over in 2002.


The fireworks will be launched from an open area in the field south of the Sooner Park pool. A radius of 450 feet from the launch area is required to be restricted and will be roped off starting at 6 p.m. July 4. The Sooner Park pool parking lot is inside the restricted area, but there will be plenty of parking space in the lots off of Madison Boulevard and surrounding schools. Backyards of homes in the surrounding neighborhoods will also be prime viewing sites, Wilson said.


“The location of the Kiwanis-run Sooner Jr. Mini Golf played into the decision, and the shady environment of the park for families to enjoy socializing and picnics while waiting for the fireworks to begin is certainly a plus,” Wilson said of the decision on the location of the show. “Plans had to be changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but we are excited that city officials have decided that we can safely provide this much-awaited entertainment for the community.”


The $10,000 fireworks display by Imperial Fireworks is funded by The Kiwanis Club, businesses and individual donations. The premier business sponsor for 2020 is Patriot Auto Group.


The show will last approximately 20 minutes starting at 9:45 p.m. with patriotic music played by KYFM 100.1 during the show.


In other July 4 festivities, fireworks will be shot at:


• At Don Tyler Park in Dewey from 9:30 to 10:15 p.m.


• In Ochelata as part of the Caney Valley Independence Day Celebration.


• Jack Gordon Park in Nowata.