Second annual fireworks event expands food, beverage offerings.
Last year’s inaugural Fireworks on the Lake at Nathan Benderson Park drew an estimated crowd of 10,000.
Obviously, the park wants more.
With more fireworks, food and space to roam, Nathan Benderson Park hopes to draw 15,000 people in its second running.
Stephen Rodriguez, president and CEO of the Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates Inc., which manages the park, said those who attend will have food and beverage choices spread out in a wider variety of locations in the park.
Rodriguez said the newly covered playground area will be a family-friendly zone that should attract a lot of attention.
Other areas will offer adult beverages from Gold Coast Eagle Distributing.
The fireworks show itself will run 17 minutes and features 1,100 shells.
Below those main shells will be “fireworks cakes and barrages,” which can be anything from stunning effects like glitter bombs to loud noisemakers.
Sarah Kupiec, SANCA’s director of events and event services, said last year’s show ran about three minutes longer than the schedule this year, but she said this year’s spectacle will be more dramatic.
“People are getting more bang for their buck,” she said.
Following last year’s musical lineup of The Hubbtones, Twinkles and Rock Soul Radio, SANCA is presenting Albert Castiglia at 5 p.m. and Greg Billings at 7:20 p.m.
Rodriguez said the park was offering the starter’s pavilion at the far southern end of the lake for rent at $1,000.
“That is going to be the prime viewing for the fireworks,” he said.
Although the park attracts visitors from all over the state and country, he said the fireworks program has been developed to give back to the community. He said sponsor fees cover the cost of the event, and no taxpayer dollars are spent.
“We’re very excited from the success at last year’s fireworks show, and this year is going to even better,” he said.
The finish tower will be closed to the public for the event and will only be used for sponsors.