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Firecracker Fest 2018
Annual Fourth of July celebration at Mill Creek Park Wednesday
Firecracker Fest 2016
Crew Tinker of Statesboro matches his bullfrog hop for hop during the annual frog-jumping contest at the Firecracker Fest at Mill Creek Regional Park in 2016. The 2018 Fourth of July celebration is set for 5–10 p.m. on Wednesday. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/Herald File

The Statesboro-Bulloch County Parks and Recreation Department and Synovus will present the 2018 Firecracker Fest at Mill Creek Park on the Fourth of July — Wednesday — from 5–10 p.m.

"We look forward to this event each year, and with it being mid-week this year, we hope people will stay in town and join us at Mill Creek Park for a safe, fun night," said Kimberly Sharpe, event coordinator.

The free event will include inflatables, a frog-jumping contest — be sure to bring your own frog! — the traditional greased pole climb and more. A full schedule is available at www.bullochrec.com.

Live music will fill the stage from 5:30–7 p.m. and 7:45–9:15 p.m. by Shimmer. 

Also on the stage from 7–7:45 p.m., Brooklet's Chyann Rose will take the stage. Chyann Rose has opened for Cole Swindell, Colt Ford (Josh Reddick Foundation Concert) and Chelsea Bain and has performed her original songs for Jennifer Nettles. She performs country music mixed with Southern rock and classics from the '50s, '60s and '70s.

At 9:15 p.m., a powerful fireworks show sponsored in part by Briggs and Stratton will end the celebration. The fireworks show will last approximately 15 minutes.

This year's Firecracker Fest is sponsored by Synovus, Briggs and Stratton, Coca-Cola, the Kiwanis Club of Statesboro, Chick-fil-A, Blanchard Equipment, Statesboro Golf Carts and Northland Cable.

"We are very thankful for our event sponsors because the department could not provide this event without their continued support," said Mike Rollins, director of Parks and Recreation. 

Traffic rules

The Statesboro Bulloch County Parks and Recreation Department has worked with local law enforcement and the Georgia Highway Patrol to create a traffic plan for the event. Starting at 6:30 p.m., the back exit to Mill Creek Park will be used for exit only. Traffic will be stopped at the intersection of Brannen and Beasley and only residents will be allowed to turn down Brannen Road.

Starting at 8:45 p.m., no traffic will be allowed down Highway 24 from the 301 Bypass to the recycling center just past the main entrance to Mill Creek Regional Park. 

From 9:30–10:30 p.m., traffic will exit out of the main entrance of the park using both lanes. The right lane will be directed right or left onto Highway 24; the left lane will be directed left onto Highway 24. Traffic exiting from residences and businesses across Highway 24 from Mill Creek Regional Park will only be allowed to turn right (west) onto Highway 24. 

Both lanes of Highway 24 will go straight to the bypass. The right lane of Highway 24 will be allowed to travel right onto the bypass or straight on Highway 24/East Main. The left lane of Highway 24 will be directed left onto the bypass.

Traffic exiting out of the back exit at Mill Creek Park will turn right onto Brannen Road and then left onto Beasley Road to Highway 80. 

Once all cars have exited from Mill Creek traffic from Mill Creek Elementary will be directed right onto Beasley Road to Highway 80. Traffic exiting from Bible Baptist, Trinity Church, and Barnes Lumber will be directed right onto Highway 24 to the bypass for access to Highways 80 and 301. 

Exiting preference will be given to people parked in designated areas within Mill Creek Park.

Any traffic wishing to travel down Highway 24 after 8:45 p.m. will be rerouted to Highway 80 east to Burkhalter Road where you will turn left and travel down to Zettwell Road and turn left again. This will take you back to Highway 24 on the opposite side of Mill Creek Regional Park.

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