Skip to Content

Fire in the Sky kicks off as temperatures reach dangerous highs


Columbia's annual Fire in the Sky celebration kicks off at 6 p.m. Monday in Stephens Lake Park.

The ABC 17 Stormtrack Weather team has issued a Weather Alert Day for Monday through Wednesday due to heat indices over 100 degrees. Those planning on spending Independence Day outside should watch their water and hydration levels to avoid heat stroke.

Fire in the Sky is at Stephens Lake Park for the first time this year. Activities, crafts and games start at 6 p.m. with live music at the amphitheater starting 15 minutes later. Food trucks will be parked near Gordon Shelter. Fireworks start at 9:15 p.m. with music broadcasted on BXR 102.3.

Free event parking will be available at Boone Health and at Downtown Columbia garages. Shuttles will be available from the garages at Fifth and Walnut, Eighth and Walnut, Eighth and Cherry, Tenth and Cherry, Sixth and Cherry, and Short Street. Organizers also say these parking areas are good spots to watch fireworks.

Cavelle Cole-Neal, recreational services superintendent with Columbia Parks and Recreation, said festival organizers are putting tables under shady trees to add some cool places for people to relax.

"So essentially, if you hand out with your family you'll be able to sit up at the shelters in some shade, you'll be able to catch some space in the shade under the trees," Cole-Neal said. "And then we also support folks who bring lawn chairs or blankets, so they're not required to sit where we place tables, but they can find their own shade, too."

Anyone attending is welcome to bring their own snacks and drinks, so people worried about the heat can bring lots of water to stay hydrated.

ABC 17 Stormtrack Meteorologist John Ross said the humidity is what makes it feel so hot, but also what makes it potentially dangerous to be outside for too long.

"Sweat cools us down, right? That's kind of half true," Ross said. "Sweat cools us down because it evaporates, and evaporation is a cooling process. Basically, it leaves your skin cooler. So whenever the air is more moist or humid, it's harder for the air to absorb the moisture from your skin."

Ross also advises people to drink a lot of water, especially if they're having some sugary drinks or alcoholic beverages since those actually dehydrate your body.

The event had several security measures in place including road closures to reduce the traffic congestion, and several busses bringing people to and from downtown parking garages. The Columbia Police Department, EMS, Columbia Fire and several medical staff attended the event. All officers and security were involved in crowd management training, that addresses handling different emergencies in large crowded events.

Article Topic Follows: Weather Alert Day
Author Profile Photo

Hannah Falcon

Hannah joined the ABC 17 News Team from Houston, Texas, in June 2021. She graduated from Texas A&M University. She was editor of her school newspaper and interned with KPRC in Houston. Hannah also spent a semester in Washington, D.C., and loves political reporting.

Author Profile Photo

Leila Mitchell

Leila is a Penn State graduate who started with KMIZ in March 2021. She studied journalism and criminal justice in college.


ABC 17 News is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content