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Fire in the Sky event causes parking at Cosmo-Bethel Park and nearby schools to close

Cosmo-Bethel Park will be closed Saturday night to keep the public safe during the Fire in the Sky celebration.

All parking areas at the park and neighboring Gentry Middle School and Rock Bridge High School will also be closed to the public during the event.

Recreation specialist for the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department Cassie Brandt, said limiting the parking options forces people to spread out.

"We wanted to take away that opportunity for people to gather in really large numbers, trying to get really close to the event," she said. "So by taking away the closest parking options that will inherently force everyone to spread out a little bit more."

In the interest of public safety and social distancing guidelines, which limits public gathering sizes as set by Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services, Fire in the Sky has moved to Cosmo-Bethel Park instead of its previous downtown location.

A press release from The City of Columbia Parks and Recreation said residents who are watching the display should stay in small groups and should not drive toward the park or park on nearby streets. The release said during the entire event social distancing is encouraged.

This location was chosen since it's one of the highest points in Columbia, making it easy for nearly 40,000 households to see without leaving their homes, Brandt said.

"The idea was to move it to somewhere that was easy to maintain the footprint, the safety zone, keep people from gathering and its one of the highest spots in Columbia as far as city parks go," she said.

The event will begin at 9:15 p.m Saturday night.

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Zola Crowder

Zola Crowder joined the ABC 17 News team as a multimedia journalist in June 2020 after graduating from the University of Missouri with a broadcast journalism degree. Before reporting at ABC 17, Zola was a reporter at KOMU where she learned to cover politics, crime, education, economics and more.


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