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Joplin's 4th of July Celebration Returning 'Home' - KOAM TV 7

Joplin's 4th of July Celebration Returning 'Home'

Updated:

     The business of fireworks is what Missouri Southern is getting back into.
     For the first time in nearly 20 years...Joplin's annual 4th of July celebration will return to Fred G. Hughes Stadium.
Rain let loose this past 4th of July as vendors setup, and the pyrotechnicians prepped the big show...but little did we know, it could have been the *last* big show, at the Joplin Athletic Complex.
Paul Bloomberg, Joplin Parks & Recreation: "So we moved it out here three years ago, and we didn't get a very good reception being out here, it was a different place."
Officials say that move ultimately caused lower attendance.
But then, a simple conversation with Missouri Southern's Athletic Director, Jared Bergerman, rolled the clock back two decades.
Bloomberg: "He, you know, brought up the conversation and said 'hey, why don't you...uh...you wanna come out to Missouri Southern?' and I said 'you know, we use to do it out there a long time ago before I was here and it was a success."
That success will also benefit the campus. 
Cassie Mathes, University Relations: "You hear people say 'the university should be more connected to the city', and I think we just keep trying again and again to find ways to show the community we really are, we really are engaged to the city, it's our city."
For Mathes, being able to bring the fireworks display back to MSSU has a personal connection.
Mathes: "I remember too, being a kid out here, and it was my first memory being on Missouri Southern's campus, having the 4th of July event, and it was huge, whenever you're little, you're like, this is a huge event, I remember the stage down on the football field, and the fireworks show, it was awesome, and so, that sense of excitement, i think we're all looking forward to it, and it's just right around the corner."
As for costs, Bloomberg says it's expected to be an even split, the city taking care of the big show, MSSU coordinating concessions, and each, reaping the benefits of the big crowds.
     The show will be back at Southern *this* year.
     The 4th of July is on a Wednesday.
     You'll see the show 23-weeks from tonight. 

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Chris Warner
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A Joplin native, Chris first started in broadcasting at age 16 at KSNF-TV in 2004..

Chris joined the KOAM team in 2017 as an Associate Producer. In April, he moved into a full-time reporter position. He spent time from 2008 to 2016 in various retail roles around the region before returning to his passion at KOAM. Chris is excited to continue telling the stories of the four states. Chris and his wife Amber live in Joplin and have three amazing children.

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