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Organizers prepped for Saturday festivities


Jordan Novet



"The purpose of why we''re gathering is command control," Sonic Johnson, director of public affairs for the Columbus Air Force Base, told representatives of city, county and federal organizations at a Wednesday afternoon meeting at the main pavilion of the East Bank Lock and Dam. 


They made plans for possible developments like drownings, fires, inclement weather and traffic on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. 


"My wildlife officers will be out in force ..., to make sure everyone has a safe and enjoyable event," said Capt. Clark McMinn, conservation manager in the District 1 Office of the state Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.  


People watching the fireworks in boats "need to make sure that they have their proper safety equipment on board and use extreme caution and courtesy," he added. 


Lowndes County E911 Director Sheri Fancher, who also attended the meeting, said calls from the event will travel over a dedicated channel, separate from other calls, to E911 dispatcher Joyce White. 


"That really helps us," she said. 


The activities will begin at 4 p.m., and live entertainment by "Come on Go With Us" will begin at 6 p.m. For children, inflatable jumpers and face painting will be available. The fireworks display will commence at around 9 p.m. and continue for about a half-hour, CAFB public affairs administrator Jim Bryant said.  


Due to limited parking, people are encouraged to carpool to the event. A parking area has been reserved for any group that arrives via bus. 


Event-goers are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs. Pets are not allowed, and personal fireworks, including sparklers and morning glories, are not permitted. 


This year''s fireworks display is sponsored by Columbus AFB Services, Stark Aerospace and Cableone.




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