Locals will have the chance to celebrate July 4 at Leonard Park beginning at around 6 p.m.

The fireworks display will also affect traffic for a short time.

At Highway 51, drivers can expect to be detoured onto County Road 1306 beginning at around 8:30 to 9 p.m.

East bound traffic on California Street at the four way stop just past the zoo will be blocked off.

As a safety precaution, traffic will not be able to pass through those areas while the display is going on.

The service road is scheduled to be open in both directions but will be closed during the display.

The display is set to last between 15 and 18 minutes.

Traffic will return to normal after all pedestrians clear out of the area.

The park is also set to hold Gainesville’s Got Talent — a talent competition for all ages.

Registration for the contests begins in the park at 5 p.m. Talent contestants will compete in two age categories: 11 and under and 12 and up. There are cash prizes for the top winners in the talent division.

Groups can also register to compete in the talent contest. “It doesn’t have to just be individuals,” said Lynette Pettigrew of the Parks and Recreation Department, “and everyone who signs up gets a grab bag prize.”

The department is also scheduled to host a cherry pie eating contest and a hula hoop competition.

All contests are set to be completed by 8 p.m.

There will also be traditional Fourth of July fare.

The Frank Buck Zoo is serving nachos, lemonade and snow cones. There is a charge for the zoo concessions, Pettigrew said, while the swimming pool staff is planning to hand out free watermelon slices.

But the highlight of the evening should be the fireworks display set to begin around 9 p.m.

“If you’ve never had the experience of being there at Leonard Park during the fireworks display, to be that close is a pretty awesome feeling,” she said.

Residents don’t have to actually be in the park area to catch the display, Pettigrew said.

“People can watch the fireworks and get a pretty good view from the college parking lots, the RV parking lot by the Civic Center at Culberson and Garnett Street or at the Scivally’s parking lot,” she said.

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