Authorities are advising travelers not attending Saturday’s Dawson Day Sparks in the Park fireworks display at Rock Creek Park to avoid the area.
“The area on Hwy. 9 was very congested last year for the event, and we’ve made several changes this year to improve the traffic problems,” said Dawson County Sheriff’s Lt. Col. Greg Rowan.
Southbound travelers should plan to detour on Thompson Road, while oversized vehicles should plan to use Hwy. 53 as alternate routes.
Parking for the fireworks show and activities will be available at the park, Dawson County River Park, Riverview Middle School and Riverview Elementary School.
“Once the parking lots at Rock Creek Park are full, we will not allow any other cars, except those with handicap stickers, into the park,” Rowan said.
Shuttle service from the satellite parking areas will be available from 5-9 p.m.
At 9:30 p.m., Hwy. 9 South will be closed from Thompson Road to Dawson Forest Road to allow for pedestrians to safely walk between the parking areas and Rock Creek Park and for vehicles exiting the park.
Once the fireworks, which are set to begin around 9:45 p.m., are over, motorists leaving Rock Creek Park from Martin Road will only be allowed to turn left.
Drivers exiting at Bannister Road will only be able to turn right on to Hwy. 9 South.
Rowan warned there will be increased patrol in the park and the satellite parking areas for the event.
“Last year, we had several reports of people drinking and committing various crimes at the park and at the outside parking areas,” Rowan said. “Alcohol is prohibited in these areas and we will be enforcing it.”
Rowan said residents can also expect to see stepped up patrol measures throughout the July 4th weekend.
“We’re going to be out there making sure no one is drinking and driving. We just want to make sure everyone is safe,” he said.