Fireworks return to Jacksonville Beach

Festival starts at noon

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JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. - The fireworks show at Jacksonville Beach returns this year.

50,000 to 100,000 people are expected to attend the Stars and Stripes at the Seawalk event.

Both residents and businesses are happy the festival is back after it was canceled last year.

Jacksonville Beach resident Sam Veal is heading to the beach with his children Thursday night. He is happy the everyone could work out an agreement.

"Enough people spoke up and let their feelings be known to the elected officials and the city officials. Okay, we tried it without it (the fireworks) and it hurt the business, it hurt the citizens it hurt the families. Let's bring it back and lets show everybody we can have a great event and be safe and have fun," said Veal.

Financial and safety concerns canceled the Fourth of July festival and fireworks at the beach last year. This year's show cost $25,000 and was paid for with donations.  The show was scheduled to last 18 minutes.

Veal said the entire community pitched in.

"Kids to families to businesses... I mean even pizza places donated pizza to sell for it. Everybody's gotten on board it's a great example of volunteerism in the community," added Veal.

The show starts at 9 p.m. Thursday.  The doors to the festival opens at 12 p.m. with music starting at 2 p.m at the Seawalk Pavilion.

The east side of the Seawalk Pavilion will be secured with heavy police presence, including undercover law enforcement officers.

You can't bring personal fireworks, outside food or drink, animals or ground covers larger than a beach towel.

The festival is free, but requires a security check.

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