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America’s 243rd birthday is Thursday and it’s the perfect day to pack the family, drive to a hill overlooking the city and enjoy live music, vendors and plenty of games while waiting for the fireworks display at dusk. The annual Fireworks Festival is at the Casper Events Center and we checked in with events center general manager Brad Murphy about the family-friendly celebration.

Can you give us the specifics? Gates open at 4 p.m. on Thursday, all admission is cash only. Admission is $10 per vehicle, $5 per motorcycle, bicycle and pedestrian. All music is local this year and we have a ton of yard games and activities for the kids. Cooper’s Entertainment will have inflatables for the kids to play on. We’re really placing more emphasis on it being a family fun day with lots of kids’ activities. Don’t bring any glass, but you can bring coolers, food and beverages in the gates. Beer and alcohol service will be available, but you have to be 21 and you have to have a valid ID to be in that area. Bring blankets, lawn chairs, bug spray and sun screen and just make an evening of it.

Tell us about the music. We have four groups — all local — Kaspen Haley, Mastermind of Monkey, Tom Coryell and the Incorrigibles and Mad Katter, who will play throughout the afternoon and evening.

And the fireworks show starts about 10? Yes, when we are sure that the horizon is dark enough for people to really see. The soundtrack is on all Townsquare Media stations — 104.7 KISS-FM, 107.9 JACK-FM, 1030 AM K2, Rock 96.7, My Country 95.5 and AM 1400 The Cowboy.

Vendors can still sign up? Yes, we’d love to have some more food and vendor booths. Spaces are $175. Call us at 235-8441 if you want one.

How much does it cost to put on this event? It’s about $30,000. That’s why our sponsors are so important. The fireworks are from China, so the tariff affects us. In fact, the fireworks are an extra $3,000 this year. The show is produced by Big Sky Fireworks of Helena, Montana. We have such great sponsors. The only way we can do this is because of them. City of Casper, First Interstate Bank, the McMurry Foundation, Wyoming Behavioral Institute, Natrona County, they all help make this possible.

This is really the biggest celebration around, isn’t it? It’s not just for Casper people. We get people from all over, it’s open and accessible to anyone and as far as location, up here on the hill, it’s great for viewing all around.

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Follow community news editor Sally Ann Shurmur on Twitter @WYOSAS

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Community News Editor

Sally Ann Shurmur arrived at the Star-Tribune to cover sports two weeks after graduating from the University of Wyoming and now serves as community news editor. She was raised in Laramie and is a passionate fan of Cowboys football, food and family.

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