Last Friday’s fireworks show in Vine Grove still is causing some pop after one resident complained the display was launched too close to Vine Grove Cemetery where he has relatives buried.
Morgan Crabtree, who said he didn’t attend the First Friday activities, said he was told by some residents the fireworks actually were set off within the cemetery.
Vine Grove Mayor Pam Ogden said that didn’t happen.
She said the fireworks, held through donations and sponsors, were set off on a road near the cemetery. She said city government and First Friday organizers met regarding the events planned for the July 5 event. She said former city councilman and business owner Keena Straney was in charge of the display. He did not return a message Thursday afternoon.
“We did not set them off by any headstones or inside the cemetery,” she said.
If that had occurred, she said the complaint would be understandable.
She said she had not received any complaints from residents this week at city hall about First Friday, which attracted around 1,000 people to the city’s downtown for a variety of offerings.
“I just think it was in bad taste,” Crabtree said of being told the fireworks were ignited in the cemetery. “It got me a little upset.”
He said there are a number of city areas that likely could have been used aside from near a cemetery. The First Friday celebration was held in the community’s traditional downtown area along the railroad tracks. The cemetery is off North Mill Street and the fireworks launch site beyond the city salt barn projected the displays in view of downtown.
Crabtree suggested firing the projectiles from Optimist Park still would have ensured the show was visible from downtown.
“To me, it’s a sacred place,” he said of cemetery.
Ogden said the fireworks “were not set off in the middle of the cemetery. They were set off on a road that goes to the cemetery.” Any debris from the display was cleaned up the following morning and she personally helped clean the area, she said.
“It was such a great event,” Ogden said of First Friday. “I wish they would have called me if there was a problem.”