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Bedford organization navigates safety challenges to host fireworks show

By Tim Saunders, tsaunders@wdbj7.com
Published On: Jul 05 2013 02:33:44 PM EDT
Updated On: Jul 05 2013 06:04:34 PM EDT
Moose Fireworks

Bedford Moose Lodge administrator, Andy Dooley, posts parking signs to prepare for Friday's fireworks show

BEDFORD, Va. -

The fourth of July is over, but the celebrations continue as the Bedford Moose Lodge hosts its first ever fireworks display Friday night.

The event is expected to draw a huge crowd, which could create a safety issue since the show is happening in the dark, right next to a busy highway.

The organization hosts major events on its property all the time. It's not uncommon for hundreds of people to show up for games on the Moose athletic fields, but that's small compared to the crowds they're expecting Friday night.

"Our slogan is to be a heart of the community and that's what our lodge wants to do is be a heart of the community," said lodge administrator, Andy Dooley.

Organizers expect thousands of people to turn up for the fireworks. Interest in the show is high, because this year it's the only one in Bedford.

Moose members are happy to play host, but their space is limited. The lodge only has enough parking to accommodate a few hundred cars and many of those spaces will be reserved for Moose members.

Nearby churches and community centers are opening up their lots to make room for everyone.

"We can probably fit 500 or 600 cars in those lots," Dooley said. "We will run shuttle service there and the shuttles will begin running at 6:00."

The only place you won't be able to watch the fireworks is on the highway. No one will be allowed to park or set up chairs along Route 460.

Police and sheriff's deputies will patrol road, to make sure people gather in a safe location that's away from highway traffic.

"Hopefully the event will be injury free," said Dooley. "Nobody on 460 should get involved in any type of accident."

The one thing Moose members can't control is mother nature. As long as there's not a bad storm, the show will go on.

"Just hope the weather cooperates," said Dooley. "Either way, rain or not, we're going to shoot them off."

The lodge will set off its fireworks Friday night at 9 p.m.