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Warning: Your usual uptown fireworks viewing spot won’t work this year

KNIGHTS_ACTION
TODD SUMLIN - tsumlin@charlotteobserver.com
Fireworks light up the sky over the BB&T BallPark in uptown Charlotte, Friday, April 11, 2014.

You know that absolutely perfect spot you’ve discovered to watch Charlotte’s annual Independence Day uptown fireworks display?

It won’t work this year. The fireworks show is moving.

Local officials say the only July 4 fireworks display in uptown this year will be at BB&T Ballpark after the Charlotte Knights’ 7 p.m. game. That moves the show to the west side of uptown – probably out of view from neighborhoods east of Center City, such as Plaza Midwood and Elizabeth.

“It’ll be a really good show, a great show – but not in the place most people have come to expect,” said Moira Quinn of Charlotte Center City Partners.

In years past, the center of July 4 activities was Memorial Stadium, and the fireworks were shot off from the tops of nearby buildings. Quinn said Charlotte Center City Partners won’t be involved this year.

Instead, the sponsors are WBT and WLNK-FM, along with the Knights.

WBT and WLNK-FM, which have sponsored SkyShow the past several years at the old Knights Stadium near Fort Mill, S.C., have moved the event to the Knights’ new home at BB&T Ballpark. SkyShow this year will also include a street festival from 3 to 7 p.m. at Romare Bearden Park, near the new baseball stadium.

With the fireworks being shot off at BB&T Ballpark, there will be a smaller “fall zone” – the area that must be kept clear of spectators to prevent people from being hit by falling fireworks debris. That could mean that fireworks will explode at a lower altitude than in years past.

“The show will still be as long as in the past, and it will be great,” Quinn said. “You’ll just have to be in a different spot.”

She suggested Romare Bearden Park or nearby parking decks.

Of course, fans at the game will have the best view, but the Knights’ 7:05 p.m. game against Norfolk is a sellout.

If all this isn’t enough, fans who don’t have tickets for the July 4 game but want to see the fireworks won’t know exactly when the show will start. That will depend on how long the game lasts.

Officials suggest spectators stay at Romare Bearden Park, or monitor the progress of the game on the radio.

The Knights also are planning a fireworks show for the July 3 game at BB&T Ballpark between Team USA and Chinese Taipei. Tickets remain on sale for that game.

But if you absolutely must have fireworks at Memorial Stadium and are willing to wait two nights after the holiday, the Charlotte Hounds lacrosse team will have a display after their July 5 game against Rochester.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle
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