The American flag flies over the stage at the city of Russellville’s 6th Annual Jam on Sloss Lake July 4th Celebration.
The American flag flies over the stage at the city of Russellville’s 6th Annual Jam on Sloss Lake July 4th Celebration.

Archived Story

City hosts successful event

Published 1:55pm Tuesday, July 8, 2014

For this past six years, the city of Russellville has set out to have one of the best Fourth of July celebrations in North Alabama, and according to officials, they believe they have been successful once again.

The 6th Annual Jam on Sloss Lake July 4th Celebration drew crowds in excess of 15,000 people according to organizers – a number that is very close to the record for the day-long event.

“This event just seems like it continues to grow every year,” said councilman Gary Cummings, who heads up the organization of the event every year.

“The outstanding entertainment line-up, the food vendors, the city departments, the games, and the fireworks all make this a top-notch event each year and this year was no exception.

“We appreciate all the musicians who came out and entertained the crowd. Everyone did a great job, and we’ve heard a lot of good things about the quality of the entertainment.

“We also appreciate them helping us stay on schedule, which can be a very difficult task. A major goal of ours this year was to stick to the schedule as closely as possible, and we were able to do that throughout the day.”

Cummings said the 5th Annual Cotton Flats Cruisers Car Show was also a big crowd pleaser.

“This year’s car show is the biggest one we’ve ever had,” Cummings said.

“We had an excellent turnout as far as entries go, but we also had an excellent turnout of folks who were interested in seeing all the cars. It was a great way to start off the day.”

Of course, like any good Fourth of July celebration, Cummings said the fireworks show is the main event for the day, but one that almost didn’t take place this year.

“We have used the same fireworks company, Premiere Pyrotechnics, every year we’ve had the Jam on Sloss Lake and they contract out the job to certified shooters,” Cummings said.

“We got a call on Monday that the shooter scheduled for our show had been tragically killed in a car accident and they would be cancelling our show as well as four other cities’ shows.

“Of course our hearts and prayers went out to this man’s family for their loss, especially so close to a holiday.

“But we also realized that we were going to have to act fast if we were still going to be able to have a fireworks show for our citizens.”

Cummings said within minutes of receiving the phone call, Russellville Fire Chief Joe Mansell and newly appointed fire marshal Justin Green began making phone calls to companies around the state to see if anyone was available to coordinate Russellville’s show.

“We got in contact with the owner of Alabama Pyrotechnics Guild and he said that he would come to Russellville himself and bring his family and do the show for us,” Cummings said.

“We owe a huge thank you to this company for stepping in and helping us and to Joe and the others who made many phone calls and got this set up. We wouldn’t have had a show without it.”

Cummings said there were several other groups who also deserved a hearty thank you for their help in making the event possible.

“As usual, all of our city departments did a great job in all areas of this event and made it go off smoothly and effectively,” he said.

“And I can’t say enough how impressed I am with the people who attended the event. Every year they do a great job of showing up to enjoy the festivities without causing problems, and those of us who organize the event appreciate that so much.

“The crowd’s cooperation really makes this a truly family-friendly event.”

Russellville Mayor David Grissom said he couldn’t be prouder of how the event turned out.

“There is so much hard work and preparation that goes into this event every year, and we are so glad to be getting positive feedback about this year’s event,” Grissom said.

“I want to say a special ‘thank you’ to our city departments and department heads. Everyone at the police department, fire department, street department, and park and rec department did a great job of working together as a team to make this a fun, safe and successful Fourth of July celebration.

“And also, a big thanks to the Russellville Electric, Gas, and Water & Sewer boards for their help in sponsoring this event and making it possible.

“I also want to thank Councilman Cummings for organizing the event each year. He does a great job, and we appreciate his hard work and dedication to the citizens of Russellville.”

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