Fireworks and fun are big at War Memorial Park

July 05, 2007|By JOSHUA BOWMAN

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Seven-year-old Jason Bedwell didn't know if he should get in the pool at War Memorial Park on Wednesday.

"It's gonna rain, mom," Jason said.

Jason wasn't the only one concerned about the rain, which threatened to jeopardize Martinsburg's annual Fourth of July festival, and specifically its fireworks display.

"I'm really only here for the fireworks, so I hope it doesn't start raining heavy," said Dennis Robinson of Berkeley Springs, W.Va.

Although there were scattered showers throughout the evening in Martinsburg, the fireworks went off without a hitch, according to the Martinsburg Police Department.


The event, which has been held for decades, included an array of activities, said Roger Engle, a board member with the Berkeley County Parks and Recreation Department, which organized the event. Visitors could swim in the pool, play miniature golf, watch a magic show, take a train ride, listen to live music and - of course - watch the fireworks.

"They're the best around," said Brad Simmons of Martinsburg, who said he has attended the festival for the past 10 years.

But while hundreds of people were enjoying the festival's activities, many also seemed content to avoid the bustle on the main road through the park. Instead, they brought their own food, staked out a spot under the trees and cooked on one of the park's grills.

Shannon Green and her family arrived early Wednesday to make sure they found a good place to cook out.

"This is what we've always done on the Fourth. It's nice to come here and spend time together as a family," said Green as her daughter, Kylie, peeled hot dogs out of a plastic wrapper.

Green said both her brother and her husband's brother are active duty members of the U.S. Army. Both are stationed in Europe, and Green said she is proud of the work they do.

"They keep us free; the armed services as a whole, that's what they do," she said. "For me, it's important to think about that on the Fourth."

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