CONTACT US
Powderhorn Park
Neighborhood Association

821 E 35th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55407
(612) 722-4817
info@ppna.org

4th of July Celebration

2014 Fourth of July @ Powderhorn Community Update
(Posted February 28, 2014)
Thank you to all of you who attended the Community Cafe last evening, participated in the online survey and submitted comments through social media.

The PPNA Board of Directors voted to continue to co-host a daytime event on the Fourth of July at Powderhorn Park with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. We will have the showmobile with a lineup of great local talent, family friendly activities and food vendors. The official programming will end around 3 pm on July 4, but park visitors are welcome to stay in the park well after the program. There will not be a fireworks display in the park.  Links to Community Cafe Minutes and Board Minutes.

To fully understand the opportunities and challenges presented by the three scenarios, PPNA collected information, comments and suggestions on a wide range of topics:

Community Survey
2 Community Cafe Meetings
Feedback from longtime Fourth of July Committee Members and Volunteers
Social Media, emails, phone calls and conversations with community members
MPRB Partners & Park Police
Discussions with potential fireworks vendors based on the small budget of the show and the premium rates for day of July 4
Tradition and history of the fireworks
Safety
Fundraising and potential partner organizations and funders to lift the burden on the neighborhood
Revisioning the event

This is a complex issue – for example, the survey results showed that each of the three scenarios received about 33% of respondent votes. The Board deliberated for 1.5 hours after the Community Cafe to make its decision. It became clear that the day of July 4 is very important. During the discussion last night and online, many exciting ideas bubbled up for revisioning the event in future years. Please consider joining the planning committee to share your ideas and make this a meaningful event to all Powderhorn residents. We look forward to hosting the day time event and hope that you will bring your family and friends to the park to celebrate in 2014.

2014 July Fourth Celebration @ Powderhorn Park
(Posted February 7, 2014)
Please let us know your thoughts.
The PPNA Board of Directors will be voting on this on February 27, 2014
February Community Cafe & Special Board Meeting
Thursday, February 27 @ 6:00 pm, Board Meeting @ 7:30 pm
PPNA Office – 821 E. 35th Street

2014 Fourth of July @ Powderhorn Park Survey Links:
Community Voting on 3 Scenarios
Survey Results

Due to park police capacity and safety concerns, the two Fourth of July fireworks events in Minneapolis (Powderhorn and Downtown) can no longer happen on the same night.

Below are three viable alternate scenarios FOR THIS YEAR ONLY at Powderhorn Park.  Please rank them in the order you prefer – 1 being the highest preference.

Planning for future years will be done after this year’s event.

Scenario #1 – Day and Evening Programming on Friday 7/4/2014.  Daytime entertainment with fireworks at night in Powderhorn Park. This would mean the event downtown would happen on Saturday 7/5/2014. We would advertise the two fireworks events together. We would advertise that we are doing a SMALL NEIGHBORHOOD FIREWORKS celebration and that the BIG FIREWORKS are on the River on Saturday 7/5/2014.  We would have the same daytime programming as in years past – food trucks and live entertainment.  Pros: Continuing with the tradition in this neighborhood. Better Park Police coverage than last year.  Cons: Postponing the downtown event may increase our attendance beyond our usual capacity. Fundraising for the fireworks is very difficult. Perhaps increased security concerns. Continued concern about impact on wildlife.

Scenario #2 – Daytime Programming Only on Friday 7/4/2014. Fourth of July event DAYTIME ONLY with NO FIREWORKS. This would mean the event and fireworks downtown would happen on the night of 7/4/2014. The Powderhorn event would be limited to between roughly 12 – 5 pm, it would be a day to honor the 123 Anniversary of Celebrating the Fourth of July in Powderhorn Park with live music. We would have the food trucks and entertainment during the day that we have enjoyed for years. Pros: Reduced safety concerns. Better Park Police coverage than last year. Less concern about fundraising. Less impact on wildlife. Continuance of a (daytime event) tradition. Downtown event would happen on 7/4/2014. Cons: This would be a break in (nighttime event) tradition. Folks may show up in Powderhorn Park on the evening of Friday 7/4/2014 and be disappointed.

Scenario #3 – Day and Evening Programming on Saturday 7/5/2014.  Family daytime entertainment with Fireworks at night in Powderhorn Park. This would mean the event downtown would happen on Friday 7/4/2014. So we would have similar daytime and evening events as we have had in years past but all moved to Saturday 7/5/2014. Pros: Continuing with the tradition in this neighborhood. Better Park Police coverage than last year. Downtown event would happen on 7/4/2014. Cons:  Fundraising for the fireworks is very difficult. Continued concern about impact on wildlife. Folks may show up on the Friday 7/4/2014 and be disappointed.

Event History
For 122 years, Powderhorn Park in South Minneapolis has been home to Fourth of July Fireworks and a day-long community celebration.  This annual summer tradition attracts a crowd of more than 20,000 for a day of family fun, live music and a unique fireworks display over Powderhorn Lake.

For the past several years, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) and the Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association (PPNA) have cohosted the event.  For almost a decade, PPNA has been responsible for fundraising to cover the cost of the fireworks and entertainment.  The MPRB provides space, park staff, security and event clean-up.

MPRB Proposed Changes to the Fourth of July @ Powderhorn Park
(Posted December 2013)
In late 2013, the MPRB notified PPNA that it is no longer feasible for the MPRB to support two events on the Fourth of July:

“Safety at events is a primary concern to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.  Independence Day celebrations across the city, including the city-wide celebration along the Mississippi Riverfront and the neighborhood celebration at Powderhorn Park, have stretched Park Police (and public safety partners) beyond capacity.  The reality now is that MPRB Park Police cannot safely manage both the Mississippi Riverfront and Powderhorn Park events at the same time.

It is our opinion, because of the nature and size of the events, that we move the Powderhorn Park celebration to another day allowing for greater public safety resources at each event.”

It’s Time for a Community Discussion
PPNA and the MPRB will be cohosting a community meeting on January 23, 2014, for our neighbors to learn more and brainstorm on all options.  This is an opportunity to facilitate a broader community conversation around the Fourth of July at Powderhorn Park and its future.

The Community Discussion will be a facilitated working session for the MPRB to explain the capacity constraints, and to gather ideas, concerns and suggestions from our neighborhood.

As we start this conversation, here are some questions to keep in mind:

PPNA Monthly Community Café Meeting
January 23 @ 6:00 pm
Powderhorn Park Recreation Center – 3400 15th Avenue S
Discussion Topic – 2014 Fourth of July @ Powderhorn Park
Click here for the January Community Cafe Meeting Recap

Questions?
Nicholas Williams, MPRB Assistant Superintendent
(612) 230-6421
JNWilliams@minneapolisparks.org

Becky Timm, PPNA Executive Director
(612) 722-4817
becky@ppna.org