The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

The Northerner

The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

The Northerner

The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

The Northerner

WEBN fireworks draws larger crowd each year

Kentucky Derby Festival

Labor Day signifies the end of summer and WEBN likes to end it with a bang.

Sunday, Sept. 5 marks the 28th annual Toyota/WEBN fireworks. Each year the event becomes larger, which means more congestion for spectators. Last year’s attendance was more than 400,000, and that was with poor weather.

While competing with nearly half a million people, finding a desirable seat can be difficult.

Without the correct preparation, the fireworks can turn out to be a disaster filled with long walks and two-hour traffic jams. Knowing where to park, what to bring and where to sit can make the spectacle enjoyable.

The best way to get a good seat is to arrive early. The fireworks don’t start until 9:05 p.m., but there will be events taking place all day for Riverfest. It’s a good idea to arrive early to get a desirable seat.

Some of the traffic can be avoided by taking a shuttle bus. TANK will have shuttles running from Turfway Park in Florence, Buttermilk Pike park and ride in Crescent Springs and at NKU in Lot G.

The round-trip fare is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Pick up buses run every 20 to 30 minutes from 4 until 7:30 p.m., and return buses leave upon the completion of the fireworks.

The shuttle will not only save time, it will also save money because sitting in traffic wastes gas.

One of the most popular places to watch the fireworks from Northern Kentucky is Devou Park. The hill-top offers a great view of the fireworks and the Cincinnati skyline. Other popular spots are the Newport riverfront, the Covington floodwall and the serpentine wall in Cincinnati.

It’s always a good idea to bring something to sit on such as a blanket or folding chairs. If you plan on attending during the day, don’t forget to bring sunblock. Also, remember to wear comfortable shoes and plan on walking a considerable distance.

Alcohol, drinks, coolers, and pets are not permitted at the event. Plan on bringing extra cash because outside food and drinks are restricted.

Other events at Riverfest include live music at Sawyer Point, where 11 bands are scheduled to play on two stages from noon until 8:30 p.m.

There will be many street closings in Covington, Newport, Bellevue and Cincinnati, so it’s a good idea to decide where to sit in advance. A complete listing of street closings is posted on

Make sure not to park in places where you wouldn’t otherwise park such as the expressway, on/off ramps and road shoulders. Extra police officers will be in the area, so violators of parking laws are likely to be ticketed.

Arriving at the right time, finding the right place to sit and bringing the proper items will help ensure that the fireworks will be an enjoyable event.