COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Red, White & Boom! is just around the corner and preps are already underway for the biggest fireworks show in the Midwest.
On Monday, 400,000-500,000 people are expected to come downtown. Street parking close to the riverfront will be limited, but there are plenty of ways to find good parking.
“Those that download the Waze app, we’ve uploaded all of our lane closures and street closures there so they can use that as a GPS navigation to get down here,” said organizer Shawn Verhoff.
He said parking will be available all around downtown and the Arena District. Verhoff suggests driving down after 2pm, when businesses start to clear out for the day or to reserve your spot online.
COTA also has a special route to take people to and from the event.
He said leaving Red, White & Boom! this year will also be less congested.
“For the first time in several years we do not have vendors on Nationwide Blvd., so that should help alleviate some of the traffic,” said Verhoff. “You can hit 670 from both Neil Avenue as well as 4th Street, which should help clear out those lots a lot.”
Vendors will be open at 11am. the day of the event.
“Plan to come down earlier than you want to arrive. both finding a parking spot, finding a good viewing location, it takes time,” said Verhoff.
When it comes to claiming a viewing area for the show, there are a few rules.
“We’re really excited for Red, White & Boom! It’s one of the greatest events throughout the year and while the city of Columbus doesn’t put on Red, White & Boom! we know the best places to see the show are from our parks,” said Brian Hoyt with Columbus Recreation and Parks.
He said claiming your spot isn’t permitted until 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Canopies, tarps and blankets are not allowed to be set up until the day of the event. Spray paint used on the grass or sidewalk isn’t allowed either .
“When anyone is setting up in the parks to mark their territories we ask that they don’t use any stakes, any spikes or put anything in the ground,” said Hoyt. “That will not only take care of the ground, but there are irrigation systems and honestly there are tripping hazards for kids running around and playing.”
He also asks that spectators be respectful of each other and find ways to work together.
A lot of areas will be fenced off, including Genoa Park where the fireworks will be launched.
“There are going to be certain areas that are closed here and there, we just ask for everyone’s patience and to really respect the fences and the places that are closed off and do our best to take care of our parks,” said Hoyt.
The Board Street Bridge will close to pedestrian traffic at 9 p.m. on Monday, so won’t be able to watch the show from there.
Fireworks begin at 10 p.m. on Monday.