When the pyrotechnical company and University of North Texas risk management decided to move the fireworks staging area for the annual Denton Kiwanis Club Fireworks Show, the free event gained a lot more parking.
Hank Dickenson, the longtime coordinator of the annual fireworks show and the executive senior associate athletic director for community relations at UNT, said additional parking has opened up for the big Fourth of July event.
Attendees will be able to park at the Fouts Field lot and take the pedestrian bridge over Interstate 35E and walk to Apogee Stadium, as usual. The blue lot — the spaces near Victory Hall and the practice facility at Apogee — will be open. The red lot, the grassy area across South Bonnie Brae Street from the stadium, will also be open.
Dickenson said the traffic leaving the fireworks show can be slow, but said attendees needn’t rush.
“I think sometimes people forget when we do these events, these are big events for Denton,” Dickenson said. “After our show, we encourage people to be patient and hang around event. We’re not trying to chase you out. We might have some Rangers stuff on the screen. You can chill out for a bit.”
Attendees who want to park at Fouts Field should use North Texas Boulevard and enter the large lots near the UNT Coliseum. “If you haven’t been on campus or you have not been in that environment, there’s a lot of construction going on,” Dickenson said. “They’ve demolished the stadium, they’re building a new parking lot, and ingress and egress is a lot different than you might remember it.”
The only parking areas the Kiwanis Club and UNT aren’t opening to the public are the Athletic Center lot and the parking right by the stadium — those spaces are for sponsors and club level donors. A small lot adjacent to North Texas Boulevard and “the hill” will be blocked off due to proximity to the new pyrotechnical staging area.
Attendees who prefer to park at Apogee Stadium can reach the blue lot by taking North Texas Boulevard to the stadium, or by taking South Bonnie Brae to reach the red lot. Once the fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m., Dickenson said South Bonnie Brae Street will be closed temporarily for safety.
There are two exits from the event: Motorists parked on the Apogee Stadium side of Interstate 35E can take Walt Parker Drive to South Bonnie Brae Street. Attendees at Fouts Field exit onto North Texas Boulevard.
Proceeds from the event are used to fund the many youth services that the Denton Noon Kiwanis Club supports, including the Denton Kiwanis Club Children’s Clinic, which has been providing free medical, dental and prescription services to children in Denton County since 1925.
“Pam Barnes, our president this year, said it best: We have to stay on mission,” Dickenson said. “While this is a great celebration for freedom and a great fireworks show for the community, for our clubs it still is a fundraiser for our No. 1 cause, and that’s the children’s clinic.”
The parking fees cover a bit more than the costs of the event, and Kiwanis Club members will be at the entrance as “the bucket brigade” to accept any money to benefit the Kiwanis Children’s Clinic. The clinic is a network of medical and dental providers who serve local children in need.
The Kiwanis Club presents the fireworks show in partnership with the city of Denton and Mean Green Athletics. Once attendees are in the stadium, they can enjoy concessions and use the stadium’s air-conditioned bathrooms.
The stadium opens at 6 p.m. Music starts at 7 p.m. with two Denton groups — the Allmost Brothers Band, an Allman Brothers Band tribute act, and honky-tonk cover band Raised Right Men. Fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m.
Purses and bags larger than a clutch are prohibited in the stadium. Also prohibited: backpacks, camera bags, binocular cases, cinch bags, computer bags, coolers, fanny packs and luggage. Clear tote bags measuring 12 by 12 inches are permitted, as are diaper bags brought by families with an infant or toddler.