3Q's: Don Lewis, Tupelo Parks and Recreation director

By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal

The All-America City Family Picnic in the Park, an annual July 4th event that draws thousands to Ballard Park in Tupelo for music and fireworks, will be Monday. It’s the 25th year for the event. Daily Journal reporter Sheena Barnett questioned Parks and Recreation Director Don Lewis about this year’s plans.


Q: What’s happening at this year’s All-America City Picnic in the Park?
A: This year will be 25th year of the All America Family Picnic in the Park. The committee decided that for this year’s July 4th celebration we would go back to our past and celebrate 25 years with Southern Rock’s Finest. We have contracted with Wolfman Jack Entertainment to bring in an all star group of musicians that are made up of past members from some the best southern rock bands. Some of the musicians were members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Greg Allman Band, The Marshall Tucker Band, Pure Prairie League and more. Busted Screen Door will start the show at 4:30 p.m., Southern Rock’s Finest will follow at 6:15 p.m. The Tupelo Symphony Orchestra will play at 8 p.m. The Fireworks show will start around 9 p.m. This should be a great family night of entertainment and it is all free.


Q: With so many people at the park for the Picnic, parking and traffic are a concern. What steps are you taking to make things flow easier, and what can drivers do to help out?
A: The Tupelo Police Department will be at the Park to help assist with the traffic. They always do a great job for this event. The TPD has developed a plan to help keep the traffic flowing after the end of the fireworks show. What we ask from all drivers is to slow down, be patient and use common sense. Please try to arrive early at the park and remember that there are lots of parking spaces at the soccer and baseball complex. Once the show is over it will take at least 30 to 45 minutes to get the traffic moving at a normal pace so don’t try to get in a hurry!


Q: What do folks need to bring with them to Ballard Park so they can enjoy the Picnic in the Park?
A: There will be plenty of food vendors at the park. The only thing you need to bring is a blanket or lawn chair to sit in. Sit back and enjoy the show.