A few fireworks stands have set up around town, but the severe drought and burn ban are taking a toll on business.
Unless weather forecasters are wrong and the county gets some much-needed rain, there will be no fireworks at this year’s Archey Fork Summer Festival.
Clinton Mayor Roger Rorie said Monday that he knows some folks will be angry, but it’s “just too dangerous” to shoot off fireworks when the county is suffering the driest year since 1921.
He said he would rather have people angry with him than take a chance on someone’s house burning down.
County Judge Roger Hooper had offered to let the festival hold its fireworks display under certain conditions, such as stragetic placement of fire trucks.
But Rorie declined, saying he would wait until the burn ban has been lifted and then reschedule the display.
Temperatures in the county earlier this week set or came close to record highs, climbing well over 100 degrees. Hot temperatures and little to no rain are expected to continue for several days.
The annual summer festival in Clinton will go on as scheduled Saturday without the fireworks. Events include the fishing derby, which has been moved to 6 p.m. instead of its usual early morning time slot, rides and food vendors, as well as the Archey Fork Classic Car Show held around the Courthouse Square. The car show trophy presentation is set for 2 p.m.
Also on tap is the Texaco Country Showdown, hosted by local radio station KHPQ. Acts will compete for $100 cash prize and the opportunity to perform at the Arkansas State Texico Country Showdown. State winners vie for a $1,000 cash prize and will advance to a regional competition in the fall. The five regional winners are awarded an all-expense paid trip to the National Final where they will compete for the $100,000 Grand Prize and the National Title. Van Buren County’s own Gwendlyn Kay Bradley was a regional winner in 2011.