Green Cove Springs’ Allen promises memorable RiverFest fireworks show

Memorial Day show will expand to a ‘grander’ stage

By Don Coble don@claytodayonline.com
Posted 5/18/22

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – As a life-long resident of Green Cove Springs, Ryan Allen knows how much Memorial Day RiverFest means to the county.

That’s why he said this year’s fireworks show will …

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Green Cove Springs’ Allen promises memorable RiverFest fireworks show

Memorial Day show will expand to a ‘grander’ stage

Posted

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – As a life-long resident of Green Cove Springs, Ryan Allen knows how much Memorial Day RiverFest means to the county.

That’s why he said this year’s fireworks show will be like no other.

Allen’s North Florida Pyrotechnics will start a three-year run by capping the all-day festival with one of the largest fireworks displays in the area. It’s an undertaking that’s already taken months.

“COVID shutdowns have really goofed everything in this end of the industry,” Allen said. “Everything seems to be in short supply. But (fireworks) seem to be an extra short supply. So I've been planning this thing and getting all the products and everything we need for the past almost 90 days.”

Allen said he started preparing the first of two barges that will be moored in the St. Johns River near Spring Park last week. MOBRO Marine will give Allen a 110-foot barge for a second launch pad.

All of the work is designed to make a big – and loud – impression with thousands of area residents and Clay County’s Tourist Development Council.

“We're gonna shoot this from two barges,” Allen said. “One barge is going to be a little bit closer by the pier. The second barge is going to be much further out. That second barge is going to house some extremely large shells, so we needed a bigger barge to be able to pull this off.

“Expect something quite a bit different,” Allen said. “The firework show that's been done for the last or a couple of years was shot from multiple positions, something similar to what we're doing. But this is going to be more on the grander stage.”

RiverFest not only honors members of the military who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice, but it’s also the kickoff to the summer. Events will start at 10 a.m. and end with the fireworks show at 9 p.m.

Allen also knows he won’t get a second chance to make a good first impression.

“We're gonna get this right,” he said. “This is our hometown, so yeah, I know all the folks that are sitting down up front are gonna be watching because they all know me.”

Allen said it will be much bigger than the customary barrage of colorful and loud bomb blasts.

“It's definitely going to be something that’s very, very different than what has been done before,” he said. “I’ve been talking with Kim (Morgan of the tourism council) and brainstorming with her to find out exactly what they were looking for. I want to make sure that we get this right.”

Which will keep his neighbors happy.

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