Rain or Shine: Post-Race Fireworks Tuesday & Wednesday at Lone Star

Two of the biggest days of the Spring Thoroughbred Season will be Tuesday (July 3) and Wednesday (July 4) as Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie stages its 11th annual Lone Stars & Stripes Fireworks Celebration - rain or shine. Special 5 p.m. twilight racing programs on both days will precede one of the most spectacular fireworks shows in North Texas to help celebrate the Fourth of July holiday.

The post-race holiday fireworks extravaganzas - each synchronized to a rousing patriotic soundtrack (courtesy of 93.3 The Bone on Tuesday and 99.5 FM The Wolf on Wednesday) - will begin at the conclusion of live racing at approximately 9:45 p.m. to 10 p.m. Onlookers will get an up-close look and feel the power of the 20-minute pyrotechnics shows because the fireworks are launched from the nearby racetrack infield. Also, an enhanced sound system with plenty of speaker stacks that extend from the top of the stretch to the finish line will be put in place.

General admission to the Lone Stars & Stripes Fireworks Celebrations is just $3. Children under three are admitted free. General parking is $2. Grandstand admission gates open at 3 p.m. both days.


In addition to the fireworks shows and exciting live racing - nine races each night - there will be plenty of entertainment beginning at 3 p.m. in the racetrack's outdoor sun-shaded Courtyard of Champions (located between the west end of Grandstand and Post Time Pavilion) and Family Fun Park (west end of the facility). Activities for the entire family include pony rides, a petting zoo, interactive games, bounce houses, giant slides, arts and craft vendors, face painters and temporary tattoo and "butt-sketch" artists. There also will be a stocked 3,500-gallon fish tank so the entire family can fish for fun between races.

Around 4:30 p.m. each day, there will be special color guard presentations and patriotic performances of the National Anthem and "God Bless America." Also, the facility will be decorated with holiday red, white and blue bunting.


Music will be prominent between live races on both days from 5-9 p.m. in the Courtyard of Champions, as well. On Tuesday, party band Cuvee will perform, while country artist Mark David Manders performs Wednesday. Both acts are scheduled to play at the conclusion of the fireworks shows, as well. As customers enter Lone Star Park's East Gate entrance, a Dixieland band will greet and entertain patrons as they enter the facility. Characters on stilts, including "Uncle Sam," also will be at entrance gates and strolling the grounds.


Prior to the fireworks show on Tuesday, those who visited North Texas Ford dealerships in the month of June will have a chance to win a 2007 Ford Mustang in a prize drawing right after the last race. After Wednesday's seventh race, someone in attendance will win a trip to NASCAR's Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway - the thrilling conclusion of "The Chase for the NEXTEL Cup" series.


Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick the Starfish - a hit with the kids - will make a special appearance in Lone Star Park's Family Fun Park on Tuesday from 5-7 p.m. The first 250 children in attendance can get a free Polaroid photo with the popular animated TV stars. Plus, special Krabby Patties - cod sandwiches - will be on sale for $2.50.


After Wednesday's final race and just before the fireworks begin, six of Lone Star Park's valet parking runners will participate in a color-coded "dot race" down the stretch of the main track. About 2,500 fans will benefit from the outcome. There will be designated colors at the bottom of that night's entry blanks to win the trip to the Ford 400. Those who have the same color as the winning valet runner will win one free valet parking coupon to Lone Star Park, good until the end of the meet on July 29.


Lone Star Park will extend its perimeter near the West Gate Entrance and Post Time Pavilion to alleviate congestion and provide additional space for concessions, restrooms and pari-mutuel windows (Note: members of Lone Star's "Star Player Rewards" programs should enter through the East Gate or Post Time Pavilion to receive their discounted $1 general admission).


Once the fireworks are complete, Lone Star Park and City of Grand Prairie officials will implement a special traffic plan for exiting. Patrons exiting through Gates 1 and 2 can go northbound on Belt Line Road toward Highway 183 or southbound to Interstate-30. Gates 3 and 4 will use Lone Star Parkway for southbound traffic toward Interstate-30. Those who park in the overflow parking area in front of Nokia Theatre will be directed to exit through the private Levee Road which leads to Hunter Ferrell (turn right to head north or south on MacArthur Blvd or turn left to head north or south on Belt Line).


A limited number of reserved Grandstand seats still remain (call 972-237-PONY for reservations). The second floor Champions Ballroom has been opened for reservations. Admission to the private room - complete with a balcony for premium viewing of the races and fireworks - is $29, which includes the Silks Dining Buffet.

Because of the high demand for premium seating on Tuesday and Wednesday, only patrons with reserved seats will be allowed on the second and fourth floors of the Clubhouse. Most outdoor seating is free of charge and there are a limited number of patio tables in the Courtyard of Champions (first-come, first-serve). Blankets and folding chairs are permitted on the lawn area.

Last year, the two days of post-race fireworks attracted a throng of 38,353 - 17,617 on July 2 and 20,736 on July 3.

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