4th of July, Oak Cliff Style, long ago

During the late 20’s and early 30’s, people of Oak Cliff could watch fireworks over the water of Lake Cliff Park.

From the 50’s to the mid 80’s or later, thousands of people descended on Kiest Park to watch a spectacular firework display put on by the Oak Cliff Jaycees.

We lived close to Kiest Park and would walk over as the sun set. The displays were huge — just giant explosions of color in the sky like you see at Fair Park sometimes. One year the firework display malfunctioned and all those fireworks went off in about 5 min. If you were close, you got a real show, if you weren’t close, you kept waiting for them to start.

During the 60’s, the Jaycees out did themselves. An all day event was planned over by the pavillions and baseball fields. Several carnival rides including a ferris wheel set up early in the morning on the nearby parking lot and street. For lunch, they served free BBQ sandwiches. I think a donation was welcomed, but it was offered for free. As kids, it was a day to remember. The rides operated after dark, and then the fireworks began.

I like this kind of memory. I don’t know why they discontinued the firework display unless Duncanville and DeSoto also had the same. I know lots of people enjoyed it each year. If interested, Duncanville usually has an all-day carnival atmosphere off Wheatland and Main Street for the 4th. I don’t think it’s free.

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  1. […] Oak Cliff Jaycees put on big fireworks displays at Kiest Park up until the mid-1980s, but now there is no fireworks show in our neighborhood and no big celebration. While Bastille Day […]

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