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Wilson Borough mayor: Parks off limits for Heritage Day fireworks

Easton Heritage Day 2023
Brian Myszkowski
Easton celebrates Heritage Day with a reading of the Declaration of Independence. Easton was one of three places a public reading of the document was held in 1776.

WILSON BOROUGH, Pa. - Folks looking for a good spot to watch the annual Heritage Day fireworks display Sunday night would be best to stay away from borough parks.

Two prime spots for viewing – Meuser Park on Northampton Street and Fisk Field off Wood Avenue, both in Wilson – close at dusk and police will be present to enforce rules, Mayor Donald Barrett said.

Barrett said in a Facebook post the borough is unprepared for crowds that might show up to watch the fireworks, which for the second year in a row will be fired from nearby Upper Hackett Park instead of Downtown Easton.

“Unfortunately, we lack the appropriate security staffing to host this event and were not informed by the City of Easton or the Heritage Day committee about being designated as a viewing location,” Barrett said. “Therefore, for public safety reasons, these areas will be off-limits to the public during the firework display. Police will be present to enforce these closures.

“Given the short notice and limited manpower, we were unable to adequately prepare for this event. It typically takes us several weeks of planning for our Fall Festival to ensure proper staffing for public safety.”

The fireworks, set for 9:30 p.m., traditionally serve as the finale to Heritage Day, a celebration in Easton that marks the public reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 8, 1776.

For years the fireworks were shot off along the Delaware River in Easton, but organizers moved them to Upper Hackett Park – near the border of Easton, Wilson Borough and Palmer Township – in 2023 because of a shooting Downtown the year before.

With the change, finding a suitable spot for viewing has been the subject of discussion and chatter on social media.

Meuser Park and Fisk Field are identified as viewing locations in material circulated by Heritage Day organizers. The festivities are organized by the Greater Easton Development Partnership.

Other spots identified include the Northampton County parking lot at Sixth and Washington streets in Easton; the Palmer Park Mall parking lot off 25th Street in Palmer Township; and at Easton Area High School at 25th Street and William Penn Highway in Palmer.

In prior years, thousands crowded along Larry Holmes Drive to watch the fireworks Downtown. In 2022, a 16-year-old was shot in the 100 block of Northampton Street, just a couple of blocks way, during the aerial display.