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Festivities draw thousands downtown

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 5, 2014

A cool breeze knifed through the air Thursday, giving some much-needed relief to downtown patrons at the city of Vicksburg’s concert and fireworks display.

Thousands of people milled about on Washington Street for the Independence Day festivities, chowing down on food from local vendors and soaking in the evening sun before fireworks exploded above the Yazoo Diversion Canal.

David Eden has driven to Vicksburg from Yazoo City for the show the past three years and was not disappointed in what he saw.

Though he said he enjoys the fireworks, it has been the music that has kept him coming back. Eden had never heard of the Chicago tribute band Dialogue before, but it didn’t deter him from enjoying their performance.

“They also put on a good show. The concert’s been good every year,” he said. “I haven’t heard of them before, but I hadn’t heard of the band last year and they were real good.”

Max Polk is a Vicksburg resident who has made the trek downtown a handful of times over the years. Though some hiccups in the past kept him from watching the show, this year, neither the weather nor technical difficulties could prevent him from enjoying the celebration.

“We got rained out last time, I think it was the last time we were here, by a big storm and they just washed us out,” Polk said. “One other time they postponed the fireworks for about an hour and we got tired of waiting so we left.”

But the skies were all clear Thursday as the music of Dialogue and bluesman Mr. Sipp echoed throughout the area.

Polk and his wife Linda strolled around the lawn at the Old Court House before the concerts began and decided to see firsthand what the event was like..

“We’ve been out here three or four times over the years,” Polk said. “We decided we’d come this time and check it out.”

The music was a drawing point for many, but the booming fireworks show served as the night’s main attraction.

The fireworks, which traditionally are shot over the canal, tend to be a major draw for Vicksburg’s downtown area.

For Vicksburg resident Herroy Lyons, the annual July 4 celebration is a given.

“We’ve been coming down here every year,” he said.

Lyons enjoyed a spot atop the grandstands with his son overlooking the Yazoo Diversion Canal. Vicksburg’s 4th of July festivities have become a staple bonding moment for the two, who have been going to the fireworks show for as long as they can remember.

“Every year since he was a baby and he’s 13 now,” Lyons with a laugh. “It gets him from out of the computer for a couple of minutes.