Hyattsville is turning 126 this year, and city officials want to mark the occasion by adding an extra day to the city's anniversary carnival and adding an explosive highlight to the festivities.
In other words: fireworks.
Under a proposal put forth before City Council by Abby Sandel, Hyattsville's acting director of the parks, recreation and arts department, the festivities would begin one day earlier than normal, on Thursday, April 12 and running through Sunday, April 15. The fireworks are planned to dazzle crowds on Saturday evening.
Three years ago, the carnival was expanded from a one day event to a three day event, running from Friday through Sunday, and did not feature fireworks.
The Thursday opening day is slated as a preview day featuring discounted ride prices. For $13, under the tentative plans, carnival-goers will be able to go on as many rides as they like.
"Adding an additional day will provide ample opportunity for all residents to enjoy the carnival, allow us to offer significantly discounted ride rates during Thursday's preview, and help buffer any negative impact from inclement weather," reads a memo from Sandel to the council.
As in previous years, the carnival will be held at Magruder Park and will feature a parade from Hyattsville Middle School to the park on Saturday, April 12.
The city is preparing a contract with Taylor Amusements for the carnival attractions. Another contract for the pyrotechnics is being drafted with Bay Fireworks.
Sandel told the council that area residents are clamoring for fireworks.
"Since I've started working in recreation, no request has been more frequent than this," wrote Sandel.
A map provided to council shows the general layout of the pyrotechnic display, with fireworks being launched from an area to the rear of the park near the baseball and soccer fields. You can see the map in the most recent council packet,
Sandel told the council that the total cost to the city for the festivities will be less than $10,000. The fireworks themselves are being paid for entirely by the National Capital Parks and Planning Commission at a cost of $5,000. Municipal expenses will be offset some by revenues generated at the carnival which will be split between the city and Taylor Amusements.
Outside vendors will be permitted to sell food and other wares during the carnival, according to Sandel.
A tentative schedule has the festivities beginning on Thursday, April 12 at 4 p.m. and running until 9 p.m. Friday, the carnival would be open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. On Saturday, the carnival is slated to open at noon and run to 10 p.m. with the fireworks display at 8 p.m., so as to not keep the neighbors awake with rockets red glare and bombs bursting in air.
The City Council did not vote on the matter at its meeting this week. A vote is expected once the contracts are drafted in their final form.