FRANKLIN, Ky. (Thursday, June 28, 2018) — Franklin’s annual Independence Day fireworks show will again take place this Sunday, July 1, at Kentucky Downs.
America’s most unique racecourse has been the host site and a contributor to the pyrotechnics the past few years. Kentucky Downs stepped in as sponsor this year when a funding shortfall threatened to force cancelation of the popular free event.
“We pride ourselves on being a good civic partner, and our facility and property are ideal for fireworks and a celebration of our nation’s birthday,” said Amber Norris, Kentucky Downs’ director of marketing. “We have lots of open space, convenient access to food and beverage service, restrooms and plenty of free parking. We invite not just our local neighbors but guests from throughout the region to spend the evening with us enjoying this Franklin tradition.
“Those wanting an Independence Day daily double can come out in the afternoon to bet on horse racing across the country before enjoying our city’s fireworks extravaganza, with our Historical Horse Racing terminals in the gaming area providing another entertainment option throughout the day and evening.”
Gates open at 5:30 p.m. Central, with outdoor music beginning at 6 and fireworks deploying at dark. The City of Franklin is providing the logistical support for parking, the live outdoor music and coordinating on concession sales with Project Graduation, which stages a safe, drug-free evening each year for Franklin-Simpson High School graduating seniors.
“It is fantastic that an organization like Kentucky Downs would see the importance of this community activity and step in to save it when government funding of the project has been reduced,” said Steve Thurmond, executive director of the Franklin Simpson Chamber of Commerce. “In so many ways that is what Kentucky Downs has done for the past several years, support things that are important to this community.”
While guests must be 21 to enter the gaming floor, all ages are welcome to come for the fireworks, with a bouncy house available for kids to enjoy. The public can watch the display from the grassy area outside Kentucky Downs’ main building and down toward the racetrack’s finish line.
Kentucky Downs will have additional live music after the fireworks in the firstfloor lounge and bar area.
Photos: Kentucky Downs offers an ideal set up for fireworks at dark. Tony Mason's droneshot at dusk after the races last fall. Jennie Rees shot the turf course being rolled in the dark after the races.