UPDATED: Downtown neighbors express support, concerns about Rhythm & Booms

UPDATED: Monday, March 10, 2014 --- 10:20 p.m.

Boasting a more convenient venue, minimal environmental impact and a potential for the city to make money, Rhythm and Booms organizers unveiled details about the changes to Madison's annual 4th of July fireworks display at a meeting Monday night.

"No matter where you parked, or where you're deciding to sit, you don't have to walk the entire length and back. We will have more things in the center, and then vendor booths will be mirrored on either side," said Rita Kelliher, the president of Madison Festivals Inc.

Kelliher says there will be more parking at the new downtown location compared to Warner Park because of all the lots and garages nearby.

But with John Nolen Drive set to be blocked off between Lakeside and Willy Streets, Union Cab employee Greg Brown is concerned about transportation issues.

"One idea I have is just to have buses lined up and ready to go. With that, there needs to be a starter or somebody who stands at the beginning and says, which way are you going. Are you going downtown or are you going south," he said. "Maybe there could be different sections around the city that people are shuttled to park, depending on which areas they're coming from."

For those who live by Lake Monona like Rosemary Lee, she supports the move to her neighborhood, but wants to ensure people won't trespass through her backyard.

"I'm on the odd side of W. Wilson and the hill behind our apartment building goes right down into the railroad tracks," Lee said. "I'm concerned that there's going to be people coming up into our territory."

"The simple fact of the matter is that between Madison Police and the security with the staff, we'll have due diligence in keeping people in the public pervue for the event and off the private property," said Carl Gloede with Madison Police.
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Posted Thursday, March 6, 2014 --- 5:03 p.m.

Alders Marsha Rummel and Mike Verveer have invited citizens of Madison's downtown neighborhoods to a meeting on March 10 about this year's Rhythm and Booms event.

Rhythm and Booms will be held Saturday, June 28th. 2014 will be the first year the show will be held in the heart of the city. Fireworks will be shot off right over Lake Monona.

For more than 20 years, Rhythm & Booms had held its half hour fireworks show at Warner Park.

The March 10th meeting takes place at 7:00 p.m. at the Capitol Lakes Retirement Community Health Center Auditorium (333 W. Main Street).

Madison Festivals, Inc. (MFI) will be at the meeting along with representatives from the city. They want to hear any concerns neighbors may have.

MFI will provide an update on the event plans and the required city approvals that have not yet been granted.


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