Fireworks over Garden City

Jason Leonard

GARDEN CITY – Garden City First Baptist Church hosted its annual, family-friendly fireworks celebration at Garden City Park this evening, where they provided fun for kids of all ages. Inflatables were available for children, along with games of cornhole and tug of war. The church also provided free hot dogs, bottles of water, popcorn and soda for festivalgoers and accepted donations to help defer the costs.

“This is just an outreach we do from our church every year just trying to spread the word. We just want to do something for the community. Our fireworks aren’t as big as Smith Lake’s because our church doesn’t have those kinds of funds, but we do what we can,” laughed church member Christy Gowens.

Garden City FBC’s pastor Scott Arnold shared that this year was the church’s seventh year hosting the event. “We just try to minister to our community. It’s a good opportunity for us as a church in the community to put on. We provide a family friendly-event for the Fourth of July. It’s not the biggest fireworks presentation because we’re a smaller church, but people seem to enjoy it,” shared Arnold.

“It gets really packed. I’m surprised every year how many people come. We have a good showing every year and I’m proud of it.” Predicting at least 400-500 attendees, Arnold’s estimate wasn’t far off, as the park began to fill up as the 8:45 pm firework show time neared.

“We started this when our former pastor, Brother Bill Ellis, was with us, and I continued it on when I took over as pastor. It’s my third year going on fourth year as pastor.”

While Garden City does not contribute financially to the event, they do allow the church to hold the event in the park every year. Congregation members donate their time, sodas and hot dogs.

“The fireworks are the biggest expense, but I met a guy who gives us a really good deal on fireworks so that’s great. It’s always a big deal for us so we try to make it good for the community. I’m on the town council and four of the council members and the mayor are members of First Baptist Church so we always have their support,” chuckled Arnold.

With the park full with small citizens clamoring about the playground and enjoying the train rides before the fireworks started, it appeared that Arnold and his congregation had another successful year holding a Fourth of July event that celebrated God, country and community.

See a full photo gallery at